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Experts accuse Facebook of inadequate online security

16 May 2011 - 12:12 by Mike Price

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Although Facebook has been promising significant improvements in protection levels for the hundreds of millions of people who use its social networking and e-commerce services, there are still those in the security industry who are not convinced that it is any safer.

The main issue which continues to plague the site is that it can be all too easy for consumers to inadvertently click a link from their profile or news feed, which takes them to a fraudulent third party page, potentially exposing them to identity theft and diminishing the reputation of Facebook as a place for safe shopping online.

Facebook has attempted to create a regularly updated blacklist of malicious sites and purge associated links from its own network. However, experts at security firm Sophos, say that although improvements are being made, there is still a lot more that Mark Zuckerberg's firm can do to ensure its users are not at risk of fraud and deception.

Sophos' Paul Ducklin told Infosecurity Magazine that people need to keep up the pressure on Facebook in relation to its security, so that continued efforts are made to sustain its user protection policies.

One area in which experts suggest improvements might be made is the implementation of 'Like' buttons. At the moment a user can 'Like' a product, person or company with a single click, but experts argue that putting in a confirmation box will help bring down fraud. This is because malicious Facebook pages and third parties can hijack profiles to run spam campaigns by exploiting the 'Like' button.

With an increasing amount of user cash flowing through Facebook as it delivers on its promise to offer safe shopping online on a wider scale, security concerns and those cybercriminals who are looking to target the site can only increase.