Network attacks on Facebook, Twitter tripled in 2009

A report released today by Sophos entitled "Social Security" reveals some startling information about the number of attacks by viruses and spammers on popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

57% of users reported that they had received spam messages via social networking websites, and 36% said that they had been sent malware, an increase of 70.6% and 69.8% from last year, respectively.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos says that, "Computer users are spending more time on social networks, sharing sensitive and valuable personal information, and hackers have sniffed out where the money is to be made. The dramatic rise in attacks in the last year tells us that social networks and their millions of users have to do more to protect themselves from organized cyber-crime, or risk falling prey to identity theft schemes, scams, and malware attacks."

Survey respondents were also asked which social network they believed posed the biggest security risk, with 60% naming Facebook as the biggest threat. Furthermore, Sophos surveyed over 500 organizations, and discovered that 72% are concerned that employee behavior on social networking sites exposes their businesses to dangerous threats.

With these stats, hopefully computer users will not take their privacy for granted anymore. Online threats are everywhere, and social networking sites need to take notice and implement the necessary changes to make their sites safer.

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