Security concerns hold back social networking

Social networking’s security holes scare many businesses — and apparently for good reason.

A recent survey found that half of businesses are staying away from social-networking technology because of security concerns, according to CIO magazine.

Nine out of 10 respondents said they had plans to incorporate social networking, instant messaging, wikis and other technologies into their operations, according to the survey, which Webroot Software commissioned and presented at the Infosec 2009 conference last week.

Only 15 percent said they had resolved the security issues, and 25 percent said they would proceed with their social-networking plans anyway.

Another survey presented at Infosec 2009 shows why businesses should be wary.

Vnunet.com reported that one-quarter of businesses say some of their employees have been victims of spam, phishing or malware because of visits to social-networking sites.

Often the problem is not the host site, such as Facebook or MySpace, but third-party applications integrated into the site, according to a Feb. 18 article by eWeek.com. Often the developer, not the host, manages the server and is responsible for security, experts said.

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