(MENAFN - Jordan Times) After Facebook recently urged its users to be vigilant in order to keep their accounts from being compromised, IT experts in Jordan called for more education on the risks of using the social networking site without proper protection.
The experts said a majority of the about two million Facebook users inJordan are young people - easy targets for hackers and viruses.
"People should be cautions while using Facebook, which is the most popular social networking site and thus the most likely to be targeted by hackers," Mahmoud Kurdi, sales and marketing manager at the ICT incubation firm Virtuport, told the Jordan Times on Sunday.
"There is differently a need for more awareness on the dangers of using Facebook, which is constantly targeted by hackers. Facebook is the most effective environment for hackers and spammers to release malware and malicious content," he said.
Facebook is a target for hackers as it is an interactive website that enables people to upload pictures and videos, tag others, and check what friends are doing, Kurdi explained. Hackers benefit from this interaction between users to disseminate Trojan horses, steal data and compromise PCs.
Atheer Sami, a Facebook user, said he has already had his Facebook account hijacked more than once.
"I have created three accounts since last year. The first two accounts were taken and I don't know how," Sami, who works at an accessories store, told The Jordan Times Sunday.
"Sometimes I click on a link because I like the picture, a link to the game, or a news item but a pornographic page opens, or a programme starts downloading. Most of the links I click on in Facebook lead me to pornography, and that is posted on my wall and is embarrassing," he said yesterday.
Abed Shamlawi, chief executive officer of the ICT Association of Jordan (int@j), said Facebook users are usually tempted to click on a link or a picture without checking its authenticity or thinking twice before clicking.
Last week, Facebook said it had stopped most of the spam that has flooded many users' pages with pictures showing graphic sex and violence, advising its users to report suspicious links on friends' pages and not to click on links that offer deals that are too good to be true, according to the Associated Press (AP).
"As using Facebook is becoming a daily habit for many Jordanians, there is a need to raise awareness among schoolchildren and university students on the dangers that users can be subjected to while using Facebook or other social networking sites," Shamlawi said on Sunday, adding that hackers are constantly targeting Facebook due to its large base of users - about 773 million worldwide.
According to www.checkfacebook.com, there are currently 1.911 million Facebook users in Jordan of whom 58.1 per cent are men.
Of the total users inJordan, 41.7 per cent are 18-24 years old, 10.9 per cent are 16-17 years old, and 25.3 per cent are 25-34 years old, according to the website.
Social networking sites are popular targets for spammers because people are more likely to trust and share content that comes from people they know. This makes spam, scams and viruses easy to spread, AP reported.
Still, Facebook says less than 4 per cent of content shared on the site is spam. By comparison, about 74 per cent of e-mail is spam, though the bulk gets filtered out before reaching the inbox, the news agency reported, citing the security firm Symantec.
By Mohammad Ghazal