Mitigating social network data leaks

It was recently reported in Computerworld, that many social networking sites have serious data leakage problems, that allow third parties to specifically identify and track individual browsing behaviors across multiple websites.  The way this is done, is through the use of tracking cookies, HTTP referrers, and information contained on the user’s social networking profile page.

The Assurer, recommends users impliment the following countermeasures, so as to mitigate the concenrs raised by the article:

  1. When using social networking sites, like Facebook or MySpace; use your browser’s “privacy mode” setting; sometimes called “porn mode.”
  2. Do not use multiple browser tabs, while logged into a social network.  Multiple browser tabs increase the opportunities for malware on one site, to obtain personal information from another.
  3. Always end your login session (logout) from a social network, before visiting other websites.  Simply leaving the website, without logging out, is like leaving the house and not locking the door.
  4. Consider telling your browser to automatically erase your cookies, when you close the browser window.  Cookies are the primary method used to track your browsing behavior.

Taking these steps will reduce the chances that your web surfing behavior can be successfully tracked.

If you have concerns, regarding your own use of social networking sites, and would like a consultation, please contact The Assurer.

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