Social Network Hazards

Social Networking May Be Hazardous

By Dr. Terry Kibiloski

Image of angry person with danger button and various social media link symbols

More than one in two (53 percent) Americans are concerned about security threats when using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, yet 64 percent state factors such as viruses or unlawful access to personal information do not cause them to avoid using these types of services. The trend was uncovered by a recent survey conducted on behalf of Internet security and care provider Radialpoint, by Internet research firm iTracks. The survey, commissioned for Cyber Security Awareness Month, polled a sample of more than 1,500 respondents across the United States and identified similar opinions toward other Internet activities such as banking and shopping.

•    Approximately 61 percent of respondents had security concerns while banking online, yet 74 percent indicated they would continue banking online regardless.
•    More than 67 percent of respondents indicated they had security concerns with shopping online, yet 78 percent of those respondents continued the activity.
•    When asked about downloading music and videos, 56 percent of respondents expressed security concerns, and 68 percent of those respondents indicated they would continue participating in the activity.

“This is a concerning revelation as online security threats are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly more sophisticated,” said Hamnett Hill, CEO, Radialpoint. “As October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, this is an ideal time for home computer users to start being mindful of their online activities and begin taking the appropriate steps to secure their systems, rather than continue turning a blind eye to potential online threats.”

Overall, 85 percent of respondents indicated a security concern with at least one common online activity including: online banking, shopping online, downloading music or videos, downloading update files or applications from pop-up windows, participating in social networking sites, uploading photos or videos to websites like YouTube and Flickr, filling out personal information online, using instant messaging services like Windows Live Messenger or AIM, visiting a website, and opening email attachments. The biggest concerns expressed by respondents were:

•    Unlawful access to their personal information (77%)
•    Downloading a virus (68%)
•    Being infected with adware (64%)

“The fact that the majority of people are concerned about online threats indicates they either don’t have confidence in their security software or their security software is not designed to handle the multitude of threats on the Internet,” said Hill. “The main reason personal computers become susceptible to online threats is because their security software effectively blocks some, but not all online dangers. Computer users don’t have to be concerned about common online threats such as viruses, malware, adware or unlawful access to their personal information if they have adequate and updated  all-in-one protection.”

An all-in-one security solution would include at least five anti-threat measures including anti-virus, anti-spyware, Internet firewall, anti-adware and fraud protection. The survey revealed that the majority of respondents had one or more of these software solutions installed on their PCs, but that only 43 percent of respondents had all five installed, indicating 57 percent of American’s are not optimally protected from online security threats.

Radialpoint security solutions are currently available in the U.S. from Verizon. For more information on the Verizon Internet Security Suite, please visit:

About Radialpoint Security Services
Radialpoint Security Services (RPS) is a comprehensive home PC security solution delivered through Radialpoint’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) partners worldwide. RPS provides industry-leading Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Firewall and Fraud-Protection services at its core, with additional Parental Controls, PC Optimizer, Pop-Up/Ad Blocker, Privacy Manager, and Back-up services to complete the suite. Designed for the everyday user, RPS greatly simplifies the experience of accessing and using security, which are still the major barriers to consumer protection online. RPS significantly reduces the burden on user and their PCs by automating critical malware updates at three hour intervals, and imposing the minimum impact on computer speed and performance. With a larger base of better-protected subscribers, Radialpoint’s ISP partners enjoy lower support calls, higher customer satisfaction, positive brand association, and reduced customer churn. RPS powers the branded security offerings of world-leading ISPs including Verizon, Virgin Media, AT&T/BellSouth, Bell Canada, TELUS, Vidéotron and Bell Aliant.

About Radialpoint
Radialpoint is a leading provider of managed Internet security and care services for Internet service providers (ISPs). Its Value Added Services (VAS) are currently available to over 20 million broadband subscribers worldwide. Radialpoint’s Services and Managed VAS Platform enable ISPs to generate new revenue and significantly lower operational costs associated with supporting and bringing new Internet services to market. Its customers include Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, TELUS and Vidéotron in Canada; AT&T/ BellSouth and Verizon in the US; and, ONO, and Virgin Media in Europe. Radialpoint is headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with offices in Europe.
For more information, visit

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