Insecure by design?

11Mar08

I was driving to work the other morning and started thinking about social networks, Facebook in particular, and the security model (or lack there of) they have in place.  All of a sudden it came to me…it is insecure by design.

Think about it, people like simplicity, myself included.  I do not like having to register with an online vendor to purchase something, I just want to give the necessary info and buy it.  I think this logic is being applied by social networks.  They make it as simple as possible to create an account and start sharing information. This is what draws people in that otherwise would not bother jumping through hoops to create an account.  The success of a social media network is directly relational to it’s size, so the more the merrier.  If Facebook made it more difficult to join and wrapped more security around the process and the functionality it would suffer by reducing it’s user base which would reduce the implied worth of the company.

The other issue is tied around what happens after you create your account with the default settings. The information about you is too easily shared.  Part of this comes down the the user because often times they will become friends with everyone and anyone.  These people also put every little bit of information about themselves in their profile, making a prime target for phishing and identity theft.

Then there is the whole issue with what Facebook is doing with your information.  We have already seen some poor judgement and I expect that to continue.  I think this is a topic in and of itself.

Will it change, probably not.  Be careful what information you share.  Be careful about what apps your are using in your profile.  Lastly, be careful who you decide to become friends with.  While it is a great way to stay in touch, there is such a thing as over sharing.  Don’t bet on Facebook protecting you…..protect yourself.

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