Social networking currently presents a larger threat than email

Now that email has been in the public consciousness for a couple decades, most of us know how to avoid viruses and scams that are propagated through messages. According to many experts, though, the skills that internet users need to help them avoid malware disguised as benevolent email attachments don’t help them avoid clickjacking and other attacks commonly used on social networking sites. Social networking, therefore, currently presents a larger threat than email.

Talk to any internet security expert, and you’ll find that hackers have directed their attacks at social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. Panda Security, for instance, recently wrote a report showing that likejack attacks have become increasingly common as the popularity of social networking sites have grown.

Clickjacking is largely a big threat right now because so many people don’t know how to protect themselves. We’re wary of email attachments, but we don’t think about the potential danger involved in “liking” something online. As this threat continues to become more pervasive, though, it is likely that more people will learn how to avoid them.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only reason that clickjacking is so problematic. It’s also a matter of technological limitations. Security software engineers have had a very hard time developing programs that can identify clickjacking attacks. That’s because the attacks take advantage of a founding element that’s built right in to the internet’s structure. In comparison, email virus protection was easy to develop.

It could be some time before the casual internet user knows how to avoid clickjack attacks. By that time, it’s almost certain that hackers will have moved on to a new format that will create even more problems. This creates an endless cycle. A cat and mouse game that puts us all at risk.

Instead of solely relying on antivirus software, it’s up to each  of us to learn how to avoid the latest devices used by hackers. Putting our brain’s first is the only way that we’re going to avoid malware. At that point, we can rely on software as a fail safe that offers another level of protection.

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