Later on in this series, we’ll discuss how bad guys love the treasure trove of information available online now, especially within social media websites. You might be thinking, “I hardly use that stuff, and I have everything set to private anyway”. Well, that may not protect you—read on!

First, kudos to Google+ for the circles idea. That solves the conundrum of Grandpa trying to “friend” me and me not wanting to hurt his feelings since I really don’t want him looking at my party pictures. Truth be told, though, I don’t use Facebook. Not because I don’t find it useful, but because I don’t want them to have my personal information.

Am I a privacy prude? I don’t think so. I just don’t trust that Facebook has my best interests in mind. If they did, there wouldn’t have been so many privacy flare ups regarding the default settings over the years. You see, Facebook makes money by selling the information we provide them. So they’re financially motivated to get us to provide more and more information, so they can sell it to whomever they please. We are the product, not the customer.

And we really shouldn’t complain, because the service is free, after all.

facebook lockSo if you’re comfortable with Facebook management having access to your deepest darkest secrets, what about random people not in your inner circle? Surely they can’t see your stuff?

Unfortunately, a whole cottage industry of gaining illicit access to Facebook profiles has sprung up seemingly overnight to give the bad guys what they want. The personal lives of almost one billion people is just too juicy of a target. And while Facebook workers feverishly try to block the hacks, viruses, infected apps, password guessers, and on and on, they’ll always be playing catch up. And your personal information is at risk.

About the Author

Doug Shields is an expert in information security, particularly in the fields of social engineering and employee security-awareness training. He has a long career with the U.S. Government Intelligence Community and private industry in the “white-hat hacker” security space. After recognizing a need for training programs to fix growing security concerns, he founded Humanisec, with a primary focus “to secure the human network”.