Facebook, Twitter and email are the big players on the block when it comes to spreading information. Millions upon millions of users, billions of communications, one large constant flow that is never ending. It’s absolutely amazing how people can comes together for a single cause in time of disaster or crisis. It’s even more amazing in this ocean of connections how scams, viruses, and malware can spread around like it does.
One Facebook or Twitter post can spread around the world in minutes with little or no validation and quickly becomes fact. This past week a Jackie Chan Death Hoax spread around the web. This was called out in a few hours, but for a while it was fact. Now, there are thousands of other posts and twits floating around that are legitimate posts but link to viral spreading sites infecting users with viruses, destroying PCs, spamming the world. These are never debunked or countered at the same level of effort. Why?
If you look at The Top Incidents of 2010, these should have not been incidents at all. All of these could have stopped right out of the gate. With all the billions of messages, very few are ever warnings about bad posts. I make a point to post and alert all my Facebook friends when bogus crap hits. I always know when they do because I will start to get the same wall posts from multiple people as the scam spreads through their address books. Yet, there is never the counter-status updates to avoid whatever they were dumb enough to believe and click on in the first place.
Social Media’s range should be able to stop all these scams out of the door, yet they thrive. The immense power of the users should be more than enough to warn, cause an action, and squash these feeble attempts. Studies are now starting to take place to find out why this is the case. A recent BitDefender survey found that Facebook scams succeed because friends don’t warn each other when apps go viral on their newsfeeds. It’s simple as that.
Is it because the user’s don’t know? Is it because the user’s don’t realize the stretch of the problem or assume it’s only their account? Are the user’s too lazy to warn? Do people really care? Who really knows?
The critical piece is that a user’s reach that is spreading the viral crap is the same reach that can spread the word to stop it in their friend’s Inbox. Information and trends live and die by the user’s involvement. When there is no attention from the user’s in the social realm, things quickly die off. I guess I am having a real hard time why this is even a problem.
People take time talk about the scratch they had while driving, but no one seems to post about the flood of spam emails they get, news feed flooding from an app they clicked on, or from the virus alert they got after opening an email.
What news do you think is more relevant and important for someone to read in a day?
With IT power, comes IT responsibility.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.