Facebook, Twitter..and some concerns

  • May 13, 2010
  • 3 min read

The new age is different, its fast and small, but most importantly privacy and identity have never been in such a delicate situation before. Social Networking has always been “cool” and with the advent of Web 2, we saw the craze of social networking go haywire. Big companies started their initiatives, but few actually took it at higher level of fanaticism. And then came Facebook… and Twitter.

Today, it’s become kind of a mandatory for every netizen to twit or poke..and with that privacy has taken backseat. The craze of Facebook and Twitter is competing with terms like Global Warming, Terrorism, Sarah Palin.and such. Well, too much of anything, they say, is bound to bring popularity and in turn brings concerns. In the space of last few weeks, both Twitter and Facebook faced one of their worst privacy bumps and let’s have a look at each of those.

One thing about twitter is how many followers you have, or in layman’s term, how many people are actually interested to know what you are doing every second. From Ashton Kutcher’s challenge with Larry King, to Justin Beiber, one swears by how many followers they each have. And there came the problem. Supposedly, one can force anybody to be their follower by exploiting a loophole (and it’s just the start). On a serious note, this incident was resolved very fast by the twitter guys, when they zeroed every follower on the list and then restored them after fixing the bug. (Though, if luckily, you had forced Oprah to follow you, she still remains there…). Now let’s look at this from a different point of view, and that’s what our cause of concern. This maybe a small incident, but how is my privacy or my existence getting compromised! Just imagine, the magnitude of the problem it could have been had there been bots created twitter profile and then forced following users everywhere. Again, this is just the tip of iceberg, and hope twitter guys remain as vigilant and fast responsive as they have been, though things are going to get much worse..

Next is Facebook. The one which is more vulnerable, more popular and has less privacy ( or no privacy if I may say). From installation prompt of Zango adware through a third party app, to the recent view of friend’s chat or their friend requests, Facebook has been continuously and regularly bringing concerns, and that’s what was bound to happen. To Facebook’s credit, they have been working hard and are on their toes but one thinks whether that would be enough. Facebook has already joined Paypal, ebay , Bank of America in top 10 popular phishing targets, more details here –  Study: Facebook joins PayPal, eBay as popular phishing target .

We at Emsisoft, are working at our end to make sure you are protected from any malicious install or web exploit, but security today also starts with you. Keep your contacts close to you, and followers closer. Numbers are great, but so are the chances of imposters, and concerns.

And… we just hope this doesn’t become a reality.. Facebook and Real life…

Have a Great (Malware-Free) Day!



Emsisoft founder and managing director. In 1998 when I was 16, a so called 'friend' sent me a file via ICQ that unexpectedly opened my CD-ROM drive, which gave me a big scare. It marked the start of my journey to fight trojans and other malware. My story

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