April 30, 2010, 12:22 PM — LAS VEGAS -- Corporations should institute daily one-minute Internet safety lessons that users must complete before they are allowed online, a security expert told Interop attendees this week, but he said even that might not work because attackers pay more attention to the advice than those it is intended to protect.
As security pros publicize best practices, cybercriminals are taking note and using the information as a way to plot new exploits that circumvent the latest countermeasures, said David Perry, global director of education for Trend Micro. "Every time we come out with advice, the bad guys take it and come out with something else," he said.
A daily reminder to users about safe practices would keep the problem in mind and also emphasize that corporate IT takes the issues seriously and so should they, Perry said. "Training should be established and maintained on a small-message, daily basis," he said.
Given the seemingly irreversible popularity of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, everybody better get used to a never-ending battle against malicious activity. "Social networking is here to stay; we cannot avoid it," Perry said, so education and vigilance are needed. The only sure way to avoid malware and revealing too much personal information through social networks -- stop using social networks -- is not a possibility for the masses.
But Perry did offer a list of tips for safety when using the sites such as employing strong passwords that are unique for each site, denying use of all applications offered on the sites, learning what sensitive data is and don't post it, don't identify family members, don't friend people you don't already know, don't chat and don't answer surveys.
He noted that seemingly innocuous information posted to these sites can be valuable to criminals. For example, if a person mentions their grandfather's full name and it doesn't match their own last name, it's likely that is the person's mother's maiden name -- a fact often used to identify people for authentication purposes, Perry said..