Cisco Report Highlights Security Risks of Social Media

A report published by networking giant Cisco Systems this week claims that social media sites and their usage is making the Internet more vulnerable to attacks. According to InformationWeek, the report suggests that people are too trusting with links and other information sent through social media sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, creating a significant security weakness for hackers to exploit.

Based on research done with more than 4,000 of the company’s customers, Cisco suggests that around two percent of all Web traffic for businesses comes from social media sites. This highlights the need for companies to educate their employees on best practices to use when dealing with social media sites. One example is the Koobface virus that has infected more than three million computers through Facebook and Twitter.

One problem the report cites is in URL shortening tools frequently used in social media.

“The problem with short URLs is that they eliminate the user’s ability to read the real Web address and decide if a link is safe to follow,” the report states.

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