Facebook normally catches flack for making private information available to advertisers. But last month, the social-networking site with half a billion users quietly added a feature that makes your private information available to the friends of your friends, which may be a much more nefarious group. A button called "See Friendship" aggregates onto a single page all of the information that two friends share: photos both people have been tagged in, events they have attended or are planning to attend, comments they have exchanged, etc. To see this stuff, you need only be "friends" with one of the people. So let's say I've turned down an ex-boyfriend's request for friendship; he can still peruse my pictures or trace my whereabouts by viewing my interactions with our mutual pals.
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Facebook's new online messaging service makes users of the social networking site more vulnerable to identity theft by cybercriminals, computer security firm Sophos warned Thursday. It urged users to be aware of the security risks before signing up for Facebook's next-generation online messaging service that blends online chat, text messages and other real-time conversation tools with traditional email.
"Users need to realise that these new features increase the attack surface on the Facebook platform, and make personal accounts all the more alluring for cybercriminals to break into," said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.
"Facebook accounts will now be linked with many more people in the users' social circles -- opening up new opportunities for identity fraudsters to launch attacks," he added in a press statement.
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