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Crooks to cash in on 2010 social boom

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Friday marked the official start of the FIFA 2010 World Cup and popular social networking sites are heaving under the excitement. For the last three days Twitter’s trending topics have been dominated by the World Cup. This spike in social media activity brings with it a corresponding spike in threats that will trap and exploit unsuspecting users.

Football’s 2010 World Cup may be the first World Cup tournament to be held in Africa, but it is also the first time that millions of fans are able to make significant use of social networks to boost their experience.

Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are playing a major role in 2010 as football fans display videos and photographs, share anecdotes and, perhaps most importantly, showcase their football expertise in heated debate.

Symantec expected activity to spike dramatically and predicts a concurrent rise in fraudulent activity on the Internet in general and social networks in particular. Users are cautioned to resist the temptation to simply click on just anything, no matter how alluring it may appear. Symantec research has shown that the majority of cybercrime attacks happen through legitimate websites that have been compromised by attackers the victims are unaware that while they are on a normal looking website, they are, in fact, exposed to malicious content.

Users should also beware of accepting new friends claiming to be likeminded football fans and be especially wary of new sites set up around teams or specific players. Travelling fans should not reveal details of their current whereabouts on the social networks. Criminals are known to monitor the sites and use this information to plan robberies.

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