Sophos Makes Some Suggestions

Sophos, one of the top Internet security firms in the world, has worked with Facebook in the past to make their site safer for users. Facebook, of course, doesn’t always use their suggestions, which might be why Sophos has published an open letter to Facebook on the Naked Security blog.

In the letter, Sophos outlines three suggestions that would make Facebook safer for everyone.

1. Make Privacy the Automatic Default

Facebook users have the option to set their profiles to private, but it’s not the default setting. This offers some benefits to Facebook as a business. Making the profiles more available allows advertisers to target their markets more effectively. The current default, however, also has a negative effect that puts users at risk. Making privacy the default would help eliminate that risk.

2. Vet All App Developers

If you know how to make a simple computer program, then you could make an App for Facebook. Facebook doesn’t really control the content of apps. If there are complaints about one, then they’ll look into the matter, but they don’t make developers submit to any vetting process. That’s dangerous for users, especially those that assume Facebook is taking care of them by scrutinizing the apps.

3. HTTPS Only

Currently, some Facebook pages use HTTP and others use HTTPS. The added -s can mean a lot, especially for those accessing Facebook through unsecured wireless routers. HTTPS sites encrypt information sent by the user. That’s makes it harder for someone else to steal information. It doesn’t make it impossible; but it does provide an extra layer of protection that would deter most small-time hackers from taking information.

Does Facebook have a responsibility to enact these and other security measures to protect its users? Or should users take more responsibility by learning how to keep themselves safe while logged in to Facebook and similar sites?

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