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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

Social network phishing is up ... way up

The warnings about phishing attacks on social networking sites come so frequently, there’s probably a tendency to just tune them out. Well, listen to this: Phishing attacks on social networking sites are up more than 240%. According to a new report from MarkMonitor.

While massive data breaches are commonly blamed on cybercrime syndicates in Eastern Europe and Russia, the Americans are the phisher-men, hosting almost 50% of all phishing attacks. Last year, the United States hosted 36 of the attacks; so far this year, 46% of the phishing attempts call the U.S. home.

Strangely, Canada now holds the No.2 position, home to 4.7% of the attacks. The Russian Federation comes in third by hosting 4.5% of the attempts.

You know not to open a link in an email from someone you don’t know, but that advice doesn’t apply to Twitter, where users post abbreviated URLs in many of their posts. But you can still protect yourself.

If you click on a link that takes you to another page with instructions to log in with your Twitter password, don’t!

And, about those passwords … most of us use other sites along with Twitter. For instance, I use TweetDeck, Twitter Karma and Twitter Grader—all of which require login information. And, of course, I also use Facebook.

Don’t use the same passwords, user names and email addresses for all your accounts. Just one unguarded moment, when your curiosity leads you to click on a direct message that says, “Check out this funny blog about you” is all it takes.

That’s the ploy Tannette Johnson-Elie, a Milwaukee newspaper reporter,  fell for last week. Johnson-Elie’s Twitter account was one of 33 hacked. Just that one click to see a funny blog, and a stranger now has access to all the information in all her social networking accounts and her email.

Published Jun 29 2009, 06:40 PM by IdentityTheft
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