What is “Social Registration”?

Social media has evolved into the fifth major form of media: print, radio, television, Internet, social. While social media functions on the Internet, there’s no denying that it is its own platform. It encompasses most forms of media in one tight and neat package. Some social networking sites have more users than number of residents in some countries.

In the process of this explosive growth, a few social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have risen to the top. And in each frontrunner’s quest to be the biggest, fastest, and strongest, each wants to be your “single sign-on” in the form of a registration. Webmail providers Google and Yahoo also want you to log in to other sites using their credentials. This means when you visit any other site with a registration requirement, they may ask for your username and password but also give you the option to login in using your Facebook or Google credentials.

This same process can also link your different social media communities with each other and facilitate cross-posting.

The idea behind social registration is that each user has a somewhat established online identity. Over time, the user’s various identities in each community or platform begin to merge for purposes of shopping, communicating, and connecting to different devices. This can allow you to hop from one place to another without having to enter multiple usernames and passwords.

All that said, rarely will I engage in social registration. If one account is ever compromised, and it’s linked to others, then the hacker accesses multiple accounts with a single hack. If the accounts are of low security value then it may not be a big deal, but once email credentials are involved, the risks increase. There are security measures behind the scenes that protect you in some ways. I’m just not so trusting.

Look at it this way: does your online banking interface allow you to log in via Facebook? I didn’t think so. Of course, if anyone wants to walk me through their bulletproof process and change my mind, I’m listening.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert adviser to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses hackers on social media on CNN. (Disclosures)