Posted by: EricC | June 24, 2010

Social Networking Best Practices

It is not new to report that social networking is a part of your average Internet user these days. Sites like and cyworld were the pioneers of the world we now know as social networking sites, or SNSs. Not until 2003 when MySpace was started did we begin to see a large rise in awareness and popularity. Now it feels that if you are not part of a SNS then there is no reason to use the Internet. Check out these statistics for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook Traffic Details:

People on Facebook:

  • More than 400 million active users.
  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day.
  • Average user has 130 friends.
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Activity on Facebook:

  • There are over 160 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups and events).
  • Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
  • Average user creates 70 pieces of content each month.
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes,
    photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

Global Reach:

  • More than 70 translations available on the site.
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
  • Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application.


  • More than one million developers and entrepeneurs from more than 180 countries.
  • Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with platform applications.
  • More than 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook platform.
  • More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month.
  • Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global
    Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook.


  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
  • There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.


Twitter Traffic Details:

Data through the end of 2009. Updated data revealed the following noteworthy trends.

  • Twitter ended 2009 with just over 75 million user accounts.
  • The monthly rate of new user accounts peaked in July 2009 and is currently around 6.2 million new accounts per month (or 2-3 per second) This is about 20% below July’s peak rate.
  • A large percentage of Twitter accounts are inactive, with about 25% of accounts are inactive, with about 25% of accounts having no followers and about 40% of accounts having never sent a single Tweet.
  • About 80% of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.
  • Only about 17% of registered Twitter accounts sent a Tweet in December 2009, an all-time-low.
  • Despite these facts, Twitter users are becoming more engaged over time when we control for sample age.


YouTube Traffic Details:

  • Average views per day: 2 Billion
  • Traffic stats: 3rd most visited website (Alexa)
  • Language localization: Localized in 24 different languages
  • Average time spent per day: 15 minutes
  • Average homepage impressions: 45 million per day
  • Non-US site traffic: 70%
  • Amount of videos scanned for copyright: 100 years of video per day
  • Time it will take to watch all videos on YouTube: 1700 years


As you can see Social Networking is here to stay. There are many people who get enjoyment from these sites, but like many things in this world, it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bushel.

An up-to-date antivirus like SecureIT is a key component to keeping you safe from malware and viruses when visiting these sites, but malicious code developers are changing their methods and locating new ways to deliver their code every day. Here are some best practices when using these sites that we encourage everybody to follow.

How to Stay Safe

There are a number of best practices that you should follow in order to stay safe and avoid infection. They are as follows:

  1. Do not click on messages before reading them: This may be the number one cause of downloading a malicious file to your machine. The most common delivery of the Rogue Anti-virus programs is to display a message similar to this when on a site that has been compromised with malicious code.These messages are where a user can get infected. Once a message like this appears they should immediately save any current work/files they are modifying and restart the computer. This will close their Internet Browsers displaying the message. If a user has SecureIT Plus or Live installed they can call for support at 1-877-373-3320 so our technical support staff can assess the message and potentially capture the malicious website.
  1. Don’t assume links are safe or free of malware: Shorter links that redirect you to a malicious site can be posted against the safe site checking done by some of the SNSs.
  2. Use an up-to-date web browser: SecureIT recommends using the latest version of your web browser and keeping it up-to-date with the necessary patches. That means Internet Explorer users should be on IE8 – and since this browser is attacked the most, it’s critical that you make sure it stays updated as needed. Firefox is the second most attacked browser, but fortunately, it has a self-updating feature built in. Google Chrome is also good because it has a self-updating feature as well.  Opera and Safari are also good browsers and should be kept current, too.
  3. Keep Windows up-to-date: As always, Windows users should make sure their systems are current with the latest patches from Microsoft.  Microsoft releases security patches on every 3rd Tuesday the month.  These will include patches to known vulnerabilities that can be exploited.    Automatic updates should be turned on.
  4. Keep Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java up-to-date: At the moment, Adobe Reader and Flash are the two most targeted programs by hackers. A lot of malware specifically goes after known vulnerabilities within Adobe and Java’s software. In addition, a common method of attack, such as that used by Koobface, is to redirect a victim to a malware-infested site where the user is prompted to update their Flash player, commonly used by online games, aka Farmville, or Adobe Reader in order to see the website content. NEVER do this.  You may be prompted by Adobe Flash Player or Java to update sometimes automatically but you should never update from a website unless it’s Adobe or Java’s site.
  5. Be wary of email messages from social networks: Because email addresses can be “spoofed” by hackers, you can’t assume that an email from Facebook or Twitter is really from those the site it claims to be from. As always, you should never open attachments you were not expecting to receive and you should be wary of clicking on links – especially if you’re being told to “update your account.” If you do click on a link and are taken to a web page that asks you to log into the site, DON’T DO IT. It would be handing over your password to the hackers. Instead, you should always access the sites directly by typing in their URL in your browser or clicking a saved link in your Favorites.

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