Social networking – top tips on safety

The UK Government’s Information Commissioner has now joined the call for people to be wary of identity fraudsters when using social networking sites. In a press release issued today (‘4.5 million young Brits’ futures could be compromised by their electronic footprint’), the Office of the Commissioner calls for young people to follow its six top tips for being safer online.

Of course, this applies to adults as well as children. Identify theft – the fastest growing area of e-crime – and social networking sites are a honey pot of relevant and useful information to support identity theft. Companies have a responsibility to ensure that their IT resources are used safely and legally; I’m fascinated that some managements might encourage their staff to get involved in social networking sites, with all their attendant risks. (For example, Reuters’ CEO Tom Glocer records his enthusiasm for social networking on his own blog.) They’ve obviously not heard of ISO27001 – they could do with some exposure to proper information security management!

The Security View blog is running a poll on how companies are treating access to social networking sites – it will be interesting to see what the feedback is.