Government agencies, major corporations, small businesses ? and even Sony Playstation users – are now are among those targeted by cyber criminals. Symantec Corp’s Internet Security Threat Report Volume 16 found more than 286 million new cyber threats in 2010.

Social networking continues to be a growing hotbed for cyber criminals, who seek to steal personal information and sell it in the growing underground market for personal data.

Social media may have played a role in the Sony Playstation breach, where 77 million accounts ? including names, birthdays and credit card information ? were stolen. Social media sites are frequently used to gather information in order to fool administrators into giving up their user names and passwords.

It’s a fresh reminder to all Internet users that it’s important to take measures to safeguard your information online. Philip Lieberman, a security consultant and chief executive of Lieberman Software, suggests these steps:

  1. Don’t provide your correct birth date or other personal information.
  2. Use a throwaway email account.
  3. Use an anonymous debit card for online transactions.
  4. Use a unique password for each site.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.