Thursday, September 13, 2012

False Security is Worse than a Healthy Sense of Caution

McAfee Social protection is a soon to be released app and browser plug-in for Facebook that gives users the ability to securely share their photos.

Product of a standard screen capture.
As it stands today, if you upload a photo to Facebook, anyone viewing that photo can simply download it or take a screen capture and alter or share it to their wherever they want, however they want. With McAfee Social Protection installed though, users viewing your images will not be able to copy or capture them. (more, with video) 

Just aiming a high-res cell phone camera at the screen defeats this app, of course. But here is the bigger issue here... security solutions that only partially work actually increase risk. In this case, people who believe in this app's effectiveness may now feel safe to post even riskier photos.

False sense of security examples abound in my field; eavesdropping detection gadgets, under-trained TSCM providers, window film to block electronic eavesdropping are but three.

Moral: No matter what security solution your employ – from "fully" effective to completely bogus – keep your healthy sense of caution. ~Kevin