Facebook aims to help prevent suicide

The Lifeline currently responds to dozens of users on Facebook each day.

Facebook is making it easier for people who express suicidal thoughts on the social networking site to get help.

A program launching December 13th enables users to instantly connect with a crisis counselor through Facebook’s “chat” messaging system.

The service is the latest tool from Facebook aimed at improving safety on its site, which has more than 800 million users. Earlier this year, Facebook announced changes to how users report bullying, offensive content and fake profiles.…Read More

Study: Smart phones threaten campus network security

Colleges have tracked a dramatic increase in smart phones on campus.

Could the size of a smart phone’s screen cause nightmares for campus IT officials? Yes, according to a Georgia Tech study outlining smart phone vulnerabilities that could make campus computer infrastructure vulnerable to hackers.

The comprehensive look at how mobile devices and applications are exploited by hackers has grabbed educators’ attention during a semester that has seen an explosion in the number of smart phones and tablets inundating campus networks.

The report, written by Mustaque Ahamad and Bo Rotoloni of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, charges that small smart phones screens makes it more likely that students and faculty could be infected with malware and viruses on their iPhones, Androids, Blackberries, and other devices.…Read More

Students battle Facebook malware with security app

Facebook accounts for about 5 percent of all phishing attacks.

An application designed by a University of California Riverside student duo has a built-in customer base: the thousands of Facebook members whose accounts are littered with spam and malware every day, along with college IT directors afraid those hacker postings will harm the campus’s network.

Even the most vigilant Facebook members can miss malware posted to their account when hackers use stolen user names and passwords to spread harmful links using enticing deals like free Apple iPads or Southwest Airlines flights, or advertising supposed video of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

Read more about Facebook in higher education……Read More

Facebook now powers comments all around the web

Facebook released its much-feared commenting solution, reports ReadWriteWeb. The idea made big news earlier this year, despite the fact that Facebook has already offered a commenting solution for more than a year, but today the company has announced the feature officially. So what’s new? There are a number of features for both publishers and users, although some of the most exciting features we’ve seen displayed on Facebook late last year don’t appear to be a part of the release. Is Facebook’s massive social graph enough to push it into the default slot for comments, where it already resides for things like social sharing and third-party login?

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Facebook malware threatens campus web security

Hackers have turned to social media sites in recent years.

Students will click on just about anything posted to their Facebook walls—a social media habit that has brought a flood of malware to college campus networks.

These deceitful Facebook links—posted by hackers who have stolen student login information—have become a primary concern among campus technology leaders, and some colleges and universities are using security programs that isolate student computers before they do damage to the entire campus network.

Much like hackers have used suspicious eMail messages to solicit personal information from web users, spammers are now “clickjacking” Facebook accounts and posting links to friends’ Facebook pages.…Read More

At least 20% of Facebook users exposed to malware in their news feeds

It’s been less than a month since BitDefender launched its Facebook app Safego, offering a scan to Facebook users of the links posted to their profile. As the emphasis of much malware shifts from email to social networks, the app offered a preventative method, of sorts, to help cut down on malware’s spread. Just how much malware is out there? Based on the scans that BitDefender has run so far, about one-fifth of Facebook users have some sort of infection in their news feeds, says ReadWriteWeb. According to the app’s Facebook page, “Since its launch (almost a month ago), BitDefender safego scanned 17 million Facebook posts and it has detected infections on the news feeds of around 20% of its users. We detected several types of scam waves.”

CNET reports that “Over 60 percent of attacks come from notifications from malicious third-party applications on Facebook’s developer platform, the study found. Within that, the most popular subset of “attack apps” (21.5% of total kinds of malware) were those that claim to perform a function that Facebook normally prohibits, like seeing who has viewed your profile and who has “unfriended” you. 15.4% lure in users with bonus items for Facebook games like free items in FarmVille; 11.2% offer bonus (yet bogus) Facebook features like free backgrounds and “dislike buttons,” 7.1% promise new versions of well-known gaming titles like World of Warcraft; 5.4% claim to give away free cell phones; and 1.3% claim to offer a way to watch movies for free online.”

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Facebook messaging poses risks for users: watchdog

Facebook’s new online messaging service makes users of the social networking site more vulnerable to identity theft by cybercriminals, computer security firm Sophos warned Thursday.

According to the AFP, it urged users to be aware of the security risks before signing up for Facebook’s next-generation online messaging service that blends online chat, text messages and other real-time conversation tools with traditional email.

“Users need to realise that these new features increase the attack surface on the Facebook platform, and make personal accounts all the more alluring for cybercriminals to break into,” said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.…Read More

Facebook faces flak over privacy changes

Facebook's updated privacy policy has attracted national attention.
Facebook's updated privacy policy has attracted national attention.

A Washington, D.C.-based privacy advocacy group and nine other organizations have filed a complaint against Facebook over the online social network’s latest privacy changes.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said it has asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into the changes Facebook has made to its users’ privacy settings and to force Facebook to restore its old privacy safeguards. The changes, unveiled last week, include treating users’ names, profile photo, friends list, gender, and other data as publicly available information.

The complaint says the changes diminish user privacy by disclosing personal information to the public that was previously restricted. (See “How to protect your privacy on Facebook.”)…Read More

How to protect your privacy on Facebook

Keeping information private on Facebook is easy if you follow several steps.
Keeping information private on Facebook is possible if you follow several steps.

Over the past week, Facebook has been nudging its users to review and update their privacy settings. The site has given users many granular controls over their privacy, more than what’s available on other major social networks. Still, in updating their privacy settings, several users might have made more information about themselves public than what they had intended.

If you want to stay out of people’s view, but still want to be on Facebook, here are some things to look out for as you take another look at your settings. (See “Facebook faces flak over privacy changes.”)

1. Some of your information is viewable by everyone.…Read More