Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Social Media Security
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Social Media Security


Publication Date:

Social Media Security Awareness: What You Should Know?

Why Cyber Criminals Target Social Media


Common Types of Social Media Attacks

Depending on the amount of freely shared public information, social media sites provide numerous exploitation options for a cybercriminal. Something as simple as posting a photograph of a beloved pet, or of a school reunion, or a birthday celebration, can provide a criminal with information, such as the answers to security questions used on other sites. Even the background of a photograph can offer strong inferential information that a cybercriminal can exploit. Some common attacks include:


Some Ways to Protect Yourself

  • Sharing is not caring, and not everyone is your friend: While it is fun to share personally significant events, be careful with what you share. Be certain to limit sharing. Also, don’t feel guilty about ignoring connections or friend requests. While you may be curious about that person you casually knew in high school, you truly don’t know if that account is fraudulent or if your old acquaintance has ill intent. It only takes a few minutes in your friend zone for a criminal to grab all they need to build a successful attack profile.
  • Take advantage of free security tools: Multi-factor authentication is free, and although many people find this second step to logging in a bit of a burden, many sites are now requiring it as part of the login process. It is important to note that multi-factor codes should never be shared, no matter how convincing the request is. The only time that a code should be shared is if you initiate the call, and the recipient of the call needs to verify your identity.
  • Don’t call me, I will call you: Never use the phone number provided in a text, or an email, or on a social media chat. If you get a call from your bank, your financial advisor, your child, or anyone else who requests sensitive information or money, politely tell them that you need to look up the information, and that you will call them back. Then, look up the legitimate phone number of the caller, and verify that the request is legitimate. Cybercriminals are adept at manipulating caller IDs, so it is imperative that you initiate the call.
  • Use those filters: Most photo-sharing and online meeting platforms offer the ability to either blur or replace your background. Something as seemingly insignificant as a photo in the background of a picture can offer valuable information to a cybercriminal. Be sure to turn off location sharing and any other metadata that can reveal your location.

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