310w ago - It is not just the average net user who is a fan of social network sites, so are hi-tech criminals.
So say security professionals predicting what net criminals will turn to in 2008 to catch people out.
The quasi-intimate nature of the sites makes people share information readily leaving them open to all kinds of other attacks, warn security firms.
Detailed information gathered via the sites will also help tune spam runs or make phishing e-mail more convincing.
There was no doubt that 2007 was the year that sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Orkut rose to prominence as millions of people signed up to use them and started posting information about themselves and what they were up to.
But in 2008 these sites will become an attack vector for the hi-tech gangs who are now behind the vast majority of cyber crime.
Mary Landesman, senior security researcher at ScanSafe, said social sites would prove popular for two reasons.
"The technologies that play there and the third party add-ons make it an environment that is susceptible to compromise," said Ms Landesman.
Already at the end of 2007 Brazilian users of Google's Orkut were subject to an attack by a worm that tried to steal bank account details. The malicious...
312w ago - Social network sites are moving to make it much easier for software developers to write add-ons for the hugely popular web destinations.
Bebo, Facebook, Meebo and Friendster have unveiled plans to help them become more than places to keep in touch.
The add-ons will allow users to add extras, such as video and music clips, to the personal profiles they maintain.
The alliances behind the technologies also reveal the fierce competition between social sites for users.
In one of the broader announcements Bebo unveiled its Open Application platform which will produce a set of common interfaces that developers can use to create programs and applications that will work with the social network site.
At the launch Bebo unveiled partnerships with more than 40 developers, including NBC Universal, Flixster and Gap. A sample application produced using the tools allows Beboers to create an interactive avatar that models Gap clothes.
Significantly, Bebo's interface tools will work with Facebook's already announced development system. This will make it possible for the many developers who have written applications for Facebook to use their code almost unchanged for the Bebo network.
Despite the tie-up on tools, Bebo and Facebook will...
313w ago - The founder of social networking site Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has apologised to users for the way it launched a social advertising system.
Called Beacon, the system tracks web shopping on partner sites outside Facebook and then sells adverts to the social network based on purchases.
After complaints the site was invading privacy, Facebook changed Beacon from an opt-out system to opt in.
Mr Zuckerberg has said users can now switch off Beacon completely.
Meanwhile, the UK's National Consumer Council (NCC) has warned that children need to be better protected from "opaque commercial practices" on some of the most popular websites.
The council has said children are being exposed to advertising on websites that they would not see around their favourite TV programmes because of strict regulation.
A quarter of adverts on children's best-loved sites are aimed at adults - such as gambling and dating services, the NCC found.
"Parents should be aware that the internet is highly commercial. Every hour that a child spends in front of the computer is like letting them run loose in a shopping centre," said Ed Mayo, chief executive of the NCC.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world, and has more than 50 million...