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Pictures featuring U2 singer Bono partying with bikini-clad babes have been exposed on Facebook.

The snaps of the crooner together with a friend and two 19-year-old lovelies were available to everyone in the social networking site's New York geographical network after one of the girls involved, Andrea Feick, posted the pictures. The images were reportedly taken by the girls themselves while aboard U2 guitarist The Edge's yacht in St Tropez, France.

The pictures seem innocent enough, but they may trigger some pointed questions from Bono's missus, Allison Hewson, and a possible invitation to sleep on the sofa.

Network security firm Sophos argues that the incident emphasises the importance of its call, first made last year, for Facebook to change default security settings that mean a user's profile is open to everyone else on a network they join, no matter how tight their previous security settings. It warns that sensitive information, such as dates of birth, is often made available to anyone on the same network, which may include identity thieves (or even paparazzi).

Last year a survey by Sophos discovered that three in four people on the social networking site's biggest geographical network, that of London, allowed their profiles to be seen by any other member of the network. One in two (54 per cent) disclosed their date of birth in profiles, a snippet of information that might be useful for identity thieves.

Sophos has produced a video explaining the Bono pic incident in greater depth here. ®

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