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Facebook Users Face ID Theft Threat

Security software developer Sophos has advised Facebook to upgrade its default confidentiality settings. The advisory comes after latest investigations reveal that users of the Website are divulging confidential information to outsiders and placing themselves vulnerable to identity theft.

Sophos investigators announced their suggestion on October 2, 2007 after they took an unselected snapshot of 200 members of London's Facebook network, the only leading geographic network on the site, with over 1.2 Million subscribers.

The firm alleged that they discovered that 75% of this social networking site members permitted their profiles to be seen by any user, irrespective of whether they have approved to be "friends" or not, thus disclosing personal details to visitors and to prospective hackers, who can create a extremely calculated phishing scam or identity theft.

According to the October 4, 2007 news report in PC Advisor, Sophos' Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley stated that he was shocked when he signed up with the Facebook network utilizing a profile which he considered to be safe, simply to discover that Facebook had altered several settings and was exposing him to millions of outsiders.

The October 3, 2007 edition of InformationWeek reports that Cluley in his emailed interview has questioned the logic behind posting one's personal details online under everyone's scrutiny when people wouldn't want to shout out their personal details in public?

Besides, the threat might arise from giving out excess info, which users don't wish unknowns to view, for example, birthday, private photographs, addresses, and other contact information.

Cluley thinks that Facebook's privacy aspects are more high-tech than other social-networking Websites but believes that several users aren't yet cognizant about how to utilize them successfully to stop ID theft.

During August 2007, a survey was published proving that office personnel using social networking sites, such as Facebook, are setting back their employers by over $5 Billion yearly and are placing business networks in danger.

As per security firm SurfControl, if a worker passes an hour of company time on Facebook daily, it perhaps puts back his or her company by over $6,200 yearly. Calculated across 800,000 companies, single wasted hour per day means a productivity loss of $5 Billion yearly.

Related article: Facebook Users Should be Careful of a Computer Virus

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