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Staying Cyber Secure on Social Media

Cyber Secure on Social Media

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In today’s digital age, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, targeting users through various methods on social media. According to a study conducted by Cybersecurity Insiders, 75% of organisations experienced a social media-related cyber attack in 2020. These statistics emphasise the urgent need for users to take appropriate measures to protect themselves on social media platforms.

In this blog, we will delve into the growing threat of cyber attacks and best practices for staying cyber secure on social media.

The Hidden Dangers of Social Media

The convenience and connectivity offered by social media can be incredibly powerful, but it’s essential not to let your guard down when it comes to cyber security. Understanding the various threats and risks associated with social media networking is crucial for safeguarding your accounts. Here’s an overview of the key cyber threats you should be aware of:

Phishing Attacks

Cybercriminals leverage information gathered from social media to craft targeted email messages designed to deceive recipients into clicking malicious links or downloading malware. Hackers often create fraudulent pages that mimic popular social media platforms, hoping users will unwittingly enter their login credentials.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a form of cybercrime that involves manipulating victims into performing specific actions or revealing sensitive personal information. This tactic often involves a hacker posing as a trusted source, such as a colleague or friend on social media, to exploit the victim’s trust.

Data Mining

Data mining entails collecting, processing, and analysing raw data obtained from social platforms. This information is then stored and used to target advertising to users. In some instances, organisations may share user data with third-party entities without the user’s knowledge or consent, potentially exposing them to further security risks.

Malware Attacks

Social networks serve as a significant entry point for malware distribution. While most malware is concealed within emails and download links, malware can also spread through social networks via shortened URLs or even embedded within advertisements.

Brand Impersonation

By impersonating well-known companies or brands, cybercriminals can deceive victims into divulging confidential and valuable information. This information can then be exploited to infiltrate systems and networks, resulting in potentially catastrophic consequences for the victim.

Physical Attacks

Cybercriminals can also use information gathered from media sites to plan crimes in the physical world. For example, sharing photos from your workplace may inadvertently provide threat actors with insights into your organisation’s physical defences, making it easier for them to plan and execute an attack.

Top Tips for Securing Social Media

To secure your accounts and ensure you navigate social networks safely, you should:

  1. Use strong, unique passwords: A study by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) revealed that 23.2 million victim accounts worldwide used ‘123456’ as their password. To prevent unauthorised access to your accounts, create strong and unique passwords for each platform. Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  2. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA provides an additional layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity using multiple methods, such as a fingerprint, mobile device app, or text message. Research shows that enabling MFA can prevent up to 99.9% of account attacks.
  3. Be cautious about sharing personal information: Cybercriminals can use your personal information to carry out targeted attacks. Limit the amount of information you post online and adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
  4. Verify friend requests and messages: Cybercriminals often use fake profiles to gain access to your information or send malicious links. Before accepting friend requests or responding to messages, ensure the person is genuine by checking their profile for any red flags, such as a lack of photos or friends.
  5. Beware of phishing scams: Phishing attacks involve cybercriminals posing as a trusted entity to trick users into providing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  6. Keep your devices and applications updated: Regularly update your devices and applications to ensure you have the latest security patches. According to a study by Avast, 55% of all programs installed on PCs in the UK are outdated, leaving them vulnerable to cyber attacks.
  7. Educate yourself and others: Stay informed about the latest cyber threats and security best practices. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

By following these expert tips and staying vigilant, you can greatly reduce your risk of falling victim to cyber attacks on social media. Remember, cyber security is an ongoing process, and staying informed is key to protecting yourself and your digital presence.

Staying Cyber Secure on Social Media

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