Social media has been a great way to connect with people worldwide, with millions of users going online every day. However, many attackers have seen this as the perfect way to gather personal information to fuel cyberattacks like phishing or brand impersonation.
Whether or not you’re aware of this, threats against the safety and integrity of multiple business and personal accounts are a constant issue. It’s for this reason that everybody should pay attention to social media security. The first thing you can do to protect yourself is to learn about social media threats.
Here’s what you need to know:
What Is a Social Media Threat?
A social media threat can be anything that compromises the safety of an account. It can be easy to launch an attack because many people usually give out their personal information to social media platforms. Attackers can easily collect these data and use them for their gain.
Some social media threats come in the form of phishing scams. It means the attacker has successfully collected personal information through social media and used this knowledge to send their victim an email. Messages like these usually trick the person into clicking an attached link that could send the attacker sensitive information, which they can use for blackmail.
Other threats include social engineering, brand impersonation, site compromise, data theft or breach, and malware infection. These threats include different levels of personal information gathering to use as blackmail or ransom for money. They could also extricate sensitive data that could endanger the safety of an individual or business.
How Do Social Media Threats Occur?
Whether the victim is a private individual or a company, social media threats occur when people give too much information about their personal lives. Attackers like to target people who pay little to no attention to their social media security because they’re easy targets.
Depending on the social media platforms, attackers could access individual posts in several ways. For platforms like Facebook, they could send friend requests to their target’s friends and family or directly to their target. The more they connect with their target’s friends, the more likely they will connect with their prey.
For attackers that want to target businesses, their preferred social media platforms are ones like LinkedIn. It’s a common site for business networking, perfect for collecting business email addresses for a phishing attack. However, the social media threats don’t stop at just collecting private information.
Attackers can use their gathered data to impersonate people and businesses, tricking people into sending them money, divulging private information or providing bank account credentials. It poses a considerable risk against multiple business infrastructures and even to private individuals.
How Can You Prevent Social Media Threats?
Successfully preventing social media threats mainly lies in educating people. Businesses need to prioritise holding educational seminars on cyber security to inform their employees about the possible dangers in cyberspace. In the case of private individuals, they can read primers online about the issue.
Another way to prevent social media threats is by using ad blockers. These blockers can prevent malicious ads from turning up on your screen. If that’s not possible, try to avoid clicking on strange ads while you’re browsing the internet. You can also change your passwords regularly to ensure your accounts’ privacy.
Another prevention tip is to filter the friend requests you receive on all social media platforms. Unfortunately, not everybody is your friend on social media. If you’re unsure about the person sending you a friend request, it’s best to ignore it. Finally, avoid using social media sites in public Wi-Fi hotspots because these are more accessible to attackers.
Cyber security is an important matter to take seriously. Any threats to a person’s social media account should be dealt with immediately, keeping the user’s safety in mind. If you think you’ve received an email with malicious links and attachments, it’s best to ignore it and block the user who sent it to you. Companies should also invest in providing their employees with proper educational seminars and consider hiring the services of brand protection companies to ensure a safe working environment.
FraudWatch is a digital brand protection company offering complete services to protect your business against brand abuse. Contact us today to ensure your safety in the digital world.