Social Networking FUD

It is absolutely true that online users need to keep their wits – there’s lots of ways to go astray.

But I dislike needless slurring of the facts…

Larry Magid writes this weekend that cyber criminals lurk in the waters of Facebook, MySpace, and yes – LinkedIn.

That’s like suggesting that you need to tightly hold onto your purse at the country club because there’s been several reports of problems at the Toss ‘Em Back Bar over in the seedy section of town…

People ready to take advantage

And as I started, there have always been people ready to take advantage of any situation.  The question is – to what degree.

Larry writes “Cyber criminals lurk on social networking sites” – and as usual, read for yourself, perhaps I’m being too harsh…

The premise is that individuals trust these sites too much, expose too much information, and fall for cyber crooks’ antics.

TMI – yes it’s possible

So – if you’ve read my articles, you understand the limits between presenting yourself with a personal marketing message – one that gets you noticed, and one that reveals too much information.

I think highly of readers and consider this merely a mild warning – every once in a while it is helpful to point out instances where someone reveals too much.  But that’s not going to be you, right?

Revealed connections

Another potential mentioned in the article is that one can reveal personal connection information.

Well – that is part of the whole point of LinkedIn, now isn’t it?-)

And this would be a problem – if you connected indescriminately!

But you don’t, do you?  You connect only to those you know and trust – just like I suggest – right?

Because it is true – if I connected to the network of VIPs that I know, and then also connected to hundreds of people I didn’t know, I could be giving out information that would be better kept shielded.

Application issues

And lastly, there have been problems with application add-ins – for some social networking sites.  The Facebook and MySpace environments have been very liberal with the user interface and API.  I’ve heard that the end-game for some of those tools or add-ins is access to the information about the users.

LinkedIn on the other hand has very few of these – and appears to do a good deal of vetting of the ones that are allowed through.


So perhaps the thing that bothers me about the article is that the potential for danger is raised with all of the sites, and then the specific details are noted about Facebook and MySpace…

I’ve seen lots of reports about problems on other sites, but to date, I have only seen one LinkedIn-spam incident, and I wrote about that in July (and that account had been closed down before I could check into it).

Sure – it’s always good to remember safety habits, but let’s not go overboard, ok?

Any reports of scams on LinkedIn?

So here’s your chance – if you’ve even just heard of someone else having a scam originate on LinkedIn, please let me know.

Let’s see what’s out there.

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock


  1. Funny afterthought – the Magid article web-page attempted to launch a popup window with an advertisement, and my popup blocker prevented it.

    So who’s web site is dangerous?-)


  2. Hi Steve,
    Good post. While I see and hear negative (spam or hacking) stories particularly about Facebook; I have yet to hear of a problem with Linked In. I will be very interested to learn of stories that suggest otherwise.

    In my consulting practice, as I talk to C-level executives about the social media alternatives; I inevitably start them with Linked In.

    I struggle with businesses in general using Facebook and the security aspect is one important factor. I know this is contrary to popular thinking but for the most part, there are far better ways for a business to spend their social media ‘nickel’ (time) once they have figured out how to use Linked In appropriately. Blogging or flickr or youtube, depending on the business, can provide better organic search engine results, demonstrate ‘value’ and differentiate.

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