Weekly Roundup – April 26, 2010

This past week saw a media firestorm regarding several new Facebook features and the privacy issues surrounding them. Facebook has received staunch criticism in the past over their muddled and confusing privacy settings. Their last bout with the privacy advocates was in December 2009. The changes released at the F8 developers conference last week, once again ignited the social media landscape. PCWorld featured an excellent article on the new privacy changes and what they mean to the average user. Read Article

One major change implemented was the change from Facebook Fans to a “Like” button. Some are concerned that owners of malicious sites could use a “Like” button to link unsuspecting users to their sites. Read Write Web featured a story on a “Like Bookmarklet.” The bookmarklet helps protect from fraud and it also lets you “Like” anything on the internet, even if the site doesn’t have a Facebook “Like” button. Read More

Germany and Canada have been very outspoken in Facebook’s privacy policies, and this week the U.S. Senate joined in the fray. Sen. Schumer is calling on the FTC to design privacy rules and guidelines for social networking sites. The main change he is requesting is going from an opt-out to an opt-in design by Facebook and other social networking sites. New users often don’t realize that they must edit their privacy options for security until it is too late. This could be avoided if profiles were locked down with tight security setting at the time accounts are created. Read More

A web developer discovered a serious privacy hole in Facebook’s “Open Graph” this week. The issue at hand is with users “event lists.” Some report they are able to see public “events” that Facebook users have said they will attend – even if the person is not a “friend.” Be careful using any event features on Facebook until this is resolved. Read More

Another disturbing story surfaced this week regarding a claim by internet hacker, Kirllos, that he has 1.5 million hacked Facebook accounts for sale. Spammers and scammers use these login credentials to send messages to friends and family of compromised accounts. One major scam involves telling the friends that the account owner is stranded in a foreign country and needs funds wired to them ASAP, so they can get home. Other messages are sent from hacked accounts telling friends of a funny or erotic video. These messages lead to malicious sites containing viruses or other malware infections. Read More

These stories and more can always be found in our In the News section.

Until next week, Be Safe, Be Smart and Don’t get Crooked by the Book!

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