Feeds

Facebook revamp gives away even more info, warn pros

Your kimono may open without warning

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Security watchers have warned that Facebook's latest revamp will create the tendency to expose more user information.

The redesigned profile, launched earlier this week and due to be rolled out gradually over coming weeks, is designed to encourage punters to expose even more information about their day to day lives to the dominant social networking site, net security firm Sophos cautions.

For example, the About Profile page encourages users to share experiences, discover common interests, and to highlight meaningful relationships. The move will have the effect of highlighting the closest relationships and keenest interest a user might have. Previously this information would have probably been on a list, but not highlighted as especially important.

Sophos urges Facebook users to consider how much information they ought to share using the new service, warning that it may not just be their closest friends and contacts who get access to the sensitive information.

“Adding features to facilitate sharing updates, interests and photos may be appealing to some Facebook users. However, people need to be wary about how much personal information they’re willing to give away online,” said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos.

“Many Facebook users are online ‘friends’ with complete strangers and so we’d advise Facebook users to consider their privacy settings, make sure they’re only sharing information with people that they know and trust and to think carefully about how much personal information they want to make public.”

The redesigned profile is one of a multitude of privacy and content-control issues that have arisen over Facebook, especially over recent months. Users have progressively been encouraged to share photos and comments among wider and wider groups (from friends only to only friend-of-friens, to anyone on Facebook, etc) by default via a series of changes, most notoriously a revamp of Facebook's privacy policy late last year. More recently a decision by the NHS to integrate its NHS Choices health information site into the Facebook Connect platform provoked a warning from online privacy firm Garlik that this would allow the tracking of users on the site.

Although it has never admitted as much, more detailed user information in profiles make Facebook a more attractive platform for advertisers; hence Facebook's direction of travel is always towards encouraging users to share more with a wider pool of people. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.