Unless you've been on an island (without WiFi or 3G coverage), you are likely aware that social networking sites and tools like Facebook and Twitter have exploded over the past couple of years. Each year has been bigger than the next!

Well, ditto for hacking, spamming and phishing attacks.

No surprises, there. However, some new research numbers put out by security company, Sophos, send a sobering message to businesses about these rising vulnerabilities.

Consider this:

- Attacks through social networking is up 70% in just one year.

- Facebook is the biggest target taking up 61% of the pie chart of social networking attacks.

- Twitter makes up 17% (MySpace is 16%, by comparison).

- LinkedIn appears to be the safest garnering only a mere 4%.

What should you do?:

Educate your staff!

That's the short answer. It won't make your company invulnerable. But, it will fill in some of your biggest security holes.

The "social" part of social networking tends to make oversharing personal information a little too comfortable. Case in point, the wife of the head of M16 security in Great Britain (their equivalent of our CIA) made headlines after giving out highly guarded residential information on Facebook page. Oops!

Employees need to be directed as to what is and isn't appropriate for posting. The no-no list should include:

- work e-mail addresses
- internal phone numbers
- names and titles of other staff members, especially upper management
- dates and travel arrangements of staff
- pictures taken inside the office that may compromise security or put it in an embarassing light
- anything about the business not suitable for a press release