In today’s world of connectivity, anyone and everyone can be, and probably are at risk from cybercriminals. Could you spot the tell tales signs of a malware attack, a phishing scam or a perfectly crafted spear phishing email?
Google has (reliably?) informed me that there are now more mobile devices in the world than toothbrushes! Quite a scary statistic really! Yet when we think of phishing attacks, official looking emails from banks and credit card companies are usually what spring to mind. A hacker in a darkened room poised and waiting to steal your financial details. However, there's something which is a lot closer to home that we should be regarding with just as much caution.
One of the simplest yet most effective ways scammers use to gather potential victims information happens right in front of our noses, every day and to hundreds of people on social media. A recent case of this happened simply by scammers jumping on the bandwagon of a Facebook dislike button.
Petition campaigns and 'click here' posts flooded our newsfeeds claiming to have the power to influence the introduction of the long awaited dislike button. Unsuspecting users, including many of my own contacts, liked and shared such posts in the hope of being the first to have access to this new functionality
Now there seems to be a new scam circling our social media accounts and this is the advertising of big events in local areas. Unbeknownst to the clickers, what they are actually doing is sending personal contact data out into the big bad world of cyber space, to be picked up by anyone and everyone and used in ways that they had never even considered.
That one simple click, like and share has opened the user to a world of phishing pain! Spam email of all imaginable varieties, your details being sold off to marketing companies and even the most unfortunate outcome- ransomware.
The bad guys will always try to be ahead of the curve, patiently waiting on the next topic of interest to hit the news, they work fast and are relentless in their efforts to get their hands on our personal information. You might think that liking a post may seem harmless but the message is simple- Think before you click.
Will clicking a button really influence Facebook to change their site? Will a like really help a poor starving family in a third world country? If you share a post will it actually provide treatment for an ill person?
Think twice before you click that link! Always remember- common sense is the best defence!
Image By Pan Xunbin