How Web 2.0 Users Can Stay Safe

By Yuval Ben-Itzhak  |  Posted 2009-11-03 Print this article Print

How Web 2.0 users can stay safe

Educate yourself. Humans are still the weakest Web security link. Social engineering (for example, phishing) is still a popular and successful tactic used by cyber-criminals. Michael Stawasz, senior counsel for the Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), preaches a simple rule: "Skepticism is your best defense."

Before transferring money, giving out Social Security numbers or passwords, you need to make sure that the received request is legitimate. When shopping online, only do so from a secure PC and at sites you know and trust and that have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.

Laptops and USB sticks are popular among thieves, which forces their users to take steps to prevent their loss or theft. The containing data and information should be useless for any unauthorized user. Data encryption is highly effective. The annual 2009 U.S. Encryption Trends Report by The Ponemon Institute shows that 59 percent of respondents rate encryption of mobile devices as very important and/or critical.

Unintentional leakage of data is a growing concern for all of us, since shared information on social networks can be abused by criminals including sex offenders, stalkers and pedophiles. For example, an innocent Facebook posting can have dire consequences. Sir John Sawyer, the new head of the MI6 foreign intelligence service, found this out the hard way. His wife Shelley published details of his new position on her Facebook profile, which resulted in calls for a governmental investigation. Up-to-date information on Sir John's address, as well as photos of numerous family members, would not only put the new head at risk but also pose a potential threat to national security.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak is Chief Technology Officer at Finjan. A security industry veteran, Yuval brings strong technology leadership capabilities to Finjan, as gained in over 15 years of high-level management positions. Prior to joining Finjan, Yuval was the founder and CTO of KaVaDo Inc., a leader in Web application security (acquired by Protegrity). Prior to KaVaDo, Yuval was CTO at Ness Technologies, a global provider of end-to-end IT solutions and services. As a senior project manager at Intel Corp., Yuval was in charge of the design and development of multimillion dollar software projects. He began his professional career as a member of an elite intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Forces, where he was responsible for the design and development of security systems for mission-critical projects. Yuval earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Engineering, cum laude, from Ben-Gurion University, Israel. He can be reached at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel