Social Media A Mass Hunting Ground For Cyber Criminals

Social media is by no means new news to the vast majority of people, with 1.71 billion active on Facebook last quarter alone.  Plenty of us are inclined to check at least one platform of social media a day, so it may come as no surprise that social media is the perfect hunting ground for any preying cyber-criminal.

Social media typically attracts three types of cyber-crime: traditional broad-sweep scams such as luring content that will inevitable push malware onto your device, searching for careless exposure of public data and the use of social media platforms to connect, exchange and trade counterfeit information.

Probably the most common of the three is traditional broad-sweep scams, the vast majority of social media users have inherent trust in the various platforms and that is exactly what cyber-criminals are reliant on. The mind-set that your device can only be infected through clicking on a link and downloading a file is wrong, drive-by-downloads, infected adverts and disguised news links can all compromise both you and your machine.

Oversharing information is becoming another area of concern on some platforms, cyber criminals are gaining more and more information from what perhaps seems an innocent quiz or test between you and friends. For example, most recent we have seen a surge in ‘what does your partner know about you’ this post alone shares such valuable and personal information. Cast your mind to what you perhaps may set up as your ‘secret’ questions and answers on your online banking and other sites and correlate this with what you are being asked in these quizzes. These posts teamed with an open profile leaves you an easy target.

Most social media networks work tirelessly to be vigilant against cybercrime, however the open nature of these sites means the security battle is far from over, making it evermore paramount for individual users to be cautious with what is shared online, In particular sensitive information in relation to passwords and secret questions and answers.

Photo by Benoit / CC

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