In three separate incidences, three of my friends were infected by a computer virus which sends fake messages from their Facebook account. Because most social networks are built on a trust environment (if a link comes from your friend Angie or Ben or Juanita, you typically trust it) — the spread of viruses is particularly exploitative.
The most important thing for you to maintain is the security of your computer — PCs are heavily at risk — as well as the security of your login username and password.
Always log out after a session to prevent your open account from being used, especially if you’re in a public location like the library or internet cafe.
Unfortunately, opting out of the social networking phenomena may be a bad idea as someone else may claim your identity.
From a recent article in the Washington Post…
“…if you don’t claim a space on these networks, someone else may do it for you as a way of scamming or attacking your friends and business contacts. With the permission and good humor of security pioneer Marcus Ranum, Hamiel and Moyer created a LinkedIn profile on Ranum’s behalf, including a photo of him and bits from his résumé to make the profile look legit. In less than 24 hours, more than 50 people had joined his LinkedIn network. Among those taken in by the stunt was Ranum’s sister.”
Type in a new website instead of clicking on a link: if a link comes from someone you trust, use your best knowledge to choose if you’ll click or not. I usually open up a new browser and physically type in the address. If any website asks to install something your machine, back away— turn off your computer if needed.
Finally, consider this: the internet is truly a great enabler in that it brings information to anyone who has a connection. Because of this amazing wealth of information, your interactions with the Web can be filled with excitement, connections, and sharing, but like anything powerful, you must handle yourself and others with sensitivity and care.
Learn more about Managing and Protecting your Online Identity: link