The security terrain provides another fighter’s ring for the match between two of the biggest web stars: Facebook and Google. The two titans have been trying to push each other out of the premier spot for a long while now. With the introduction of Google+ and several updates from each camp, the contest is brought to a new height. Facebook and Google have a long list of match-ups including email, instant messaging, video messaging, games, calendars, photos, videos and privacy policies. Something else these two have in common? Privacy issues.
Vice president of Corporate Marketing at Veracode, Connie Stack shares why her company opted to center their research on Facebook versus Google security matchup:
“Maintaining high standards for security and privacy across social networks has been a growing area of concern, one that our research team has been tracking closely. Today, with more than 322 million unique visitors between Facebook and Google, a tremendous number of users blindly trust these companies to protect their personal data.
“Veracode will continue to examine the steps these sites should be taking to protect users, but ultimately it’s up to the users themselves to determine where they feel more comfortable sharing information, with the least risk.”
Facebook Survives 11/5 Hacking Terror
Yes, I was one of the few who backed up all my Facebook photos, videos and everything “saveable” and waited for the hacking attack on that sunny day. It never came. It was such a relief. But, perhaps the most comforted by Facebook surviving the threat care-of we-will-take-Facebook-down-on-November-5-unnamed hacktivists are Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the social giant’s security cluster. Could Anonymous’ non-support of this plotted Facebook hack be a factor? Or it’s all Facebook’s beefed up security arsenals? One thing is for sure: this avenue is a vital organ that can keep Facebook healthy amidst stiff competitions.
Fox News and banks received a similar warning from Anonymous. There was no data hacking attacks reported on that day on these institutions.
Security Slips and Possible Sources of Breaches
I personally love Facebook’s “block” option. It’s a good way to keep the virtual and real aspects of my life separate. But this isn’t exactly how Google+ “block” functions. The person you blocked will still see your public updates and it is you who cannot view theirs. In this area, I can clearly say Facebook wins.
But when it comes to scam intrusions, Facebook walls are relatively weak. Users were stunned to see nasty click-jacking video posts earlier this month. This was followed by pornographic and violent images spreading across the world’s favorite social networking platform. These pornographic horrors are manifestations of account hijacking. They also have faced scrutiny over their security for allegedly tracking offsite activities of users. Forbes mentions a group of researchers that featured the “ease of infiltrating” Facebook’s defense mechanisms.
Last August, a fraudulent Google certificate “exploded,” placing Iranian users’ data in danger for almost 2 months. And a highly sophisticated attack on Google security took place in January of 2010 when a group hacked corporate gmail accounts. Authorities were able to trace the origin back to China.
In his article, Kit Doston discusses how the Facebook app “takethislollipop.com” could put your social media data at risk. There are many other apps that employ similar tactics. This makes it very important for one to read notifications carefully, especially those that seek for permission to access account.
Self Regulation—The Key To Online Security
Hackers are already part of the tech food chain, wherever they fit. With courts citing that virtual security is almost impossible, the confidentiality of our data depends on the amount of “yourself” that a person shares in social networking sites. Consequently, you inputting information in your Facebook profile and “tweeting your minds off” is equivalent to you allowing these data to be publicly owned. You can rally night and day against social networks’ privacy and security flaws, but when gates are breached and data is leaked, any measures minimize damage is almost futile. Common sense says that online security starts with you—an idea advocated by no less than the White House.
Infographic by Veracode Application Security