Social Networks are now part of our society for better or worse.  It has allowed us to both connect with current friends and find pals from the past; it offers businesses another outlet for marketing and sales; it allows us to collaborate, discuss and converse on any topic imaginable.  And due to it’s popularity, it also gives thieves and othersn times criminal types an inroad to deliver malware, steal identities, spam, stalk, and many other nasty things to expose personal and corporate information.  Since so many people are on a single platform, where trust is somewhat inherent, it’s much easier to get someone to click a link than it is to technically hack their system.  There has been so much written about this topic, and in the spirit of sharing, I thought I’d offer just a few interesting stats, stories and suggestions from the various pundits on the topic:

Tweet Breach: 140 Characters of Sheer Destruction: This article tells the tale of a seemingly innocent tweet that turned into a nightmare.  He also defines the term - tweet•breach.

NFL restricts Twitter use: This is just one instance of how professional sports is dealing with social media and the instantaneous updates.  We’ve already seen a few players get into some trouble over their tweeting.

Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think: This is a fascinating list of statistics pertaining to Social Media including this gem - Years to Reach 50 millions Users:  Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.  Many of the comments are just as engaging.

Top 8 Social Media Security Threats: A listing and description of many of the most recent Social Media focused attacks.

Social Networks Increase Risks to Online Privacy: His own personal account of falling for a scam.

Are social networking sites good for our society?: Very detailed article with plenty of stats and stories including the ever popular Franklin T-Chart with Pros/Cons of Social Networking.

Identity theft is too easy and can even be automated says IT security expert: From RSA Europe, this article describes a co-worker’s challenge to steal her identity and the steps the ‘friendly-perpetrator’ took to do just that.

Breach 2.0: some best practices for protecting company info and employee data.

Developing Social Media Policies for Business: Another with stories, stats and considerations when developing a Social Media policy.

And with that, I’ll let you get back to mingling on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Digg, Technorati, and all the others.  Incidentally, you can follow F5 Networks tweets at (@f5networks) and mine is @psilvas.