Facebook, Twitter Get 'F' for Online Security

The overachieving, uber-smart techies who created Twitter and Facebook are probably not used to seeing this on their transcript: a big, fat ‘F.’ But that’s exactly the grade both social networking sites received for protecting users’ privacy in a new online security report card.

The failing grades were given to the two sites in the “Online Services Security Report Card” created by Digital Society, a “digital think tank.”

The Society examined major sites like eBay, Flickr, Google, Amazon, along with Facebook and Twitter, to determine how vulnerable each was to security breaches.

“Permanent fixes from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft are long overdue,” wrote Digital Society’s George Ou in releasing the grades.

The failing grades for Facebook and Twitter, in particular, are prescient, but not surprising, in light of the recent privacy breaches involving each site.

Facebook has had to address third-party apps, while Twitter was recently hit by a hijacking worm. And both sites have had to deal with privacy breaches from Firefox add-ons “Firesheep” and “Idiocy,” respectively, that left users using the sites on a Wi-Fi network open to attack.

Alongside Facebook and Twitter in the back of the class are Flickr and Microsoft’s Hotmail, which both received ‘D’s.’

Google’s Gmail and WordPress (with SSL), on other hand, reached the honor roll as the only sites to receive an ‘A.”

See the full report card below.