By Maximilian Clarke

Social networking sites will increasingly be used by cybercriminals looking to exploit their victims, McAfee predict, as their use continues to grow.

Facebookers must be aware of false friend invitations, messages from existing friends whose accounts have been hacked by phishing scams, as well as phishing scams themselves.

Tweeters must be aware of criminal’s increased use of popular trends and hashtags to lure users onto hostile sites.

Most worrying is McAfee’s prediction that personal violence and burglary are likely to increase due to constant, real-time updates via FourSquare and Google Places:

With more and more users posting where they are in the physical world, crooks have ample opportunities to figure out users’ patterns, current location and when they’re away from home. Put together with other available online information, such as their address, this online data can lead to serious real world crimes, like robbery.

The internet security firm documented the changing nature of cybercrime in their latest report: ’A Good Decade for Cybercrime’. It observed cybercriminals' evolution from individuals targetting high profile sites, to a gradual rise in organised, 'Mafia-style' gangs conducting sophisticated scams.

The most recent evolution has been a focussing on the individual, through social networks, as more lucrative organisations become better protected.

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