Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. And his timing couldn’t be worse.
As GDPR comes into full effect, the Facebook boss has been busy explaining how data firm Cambridge Analytica appropriated information on over 80 million potential voters in the U.S.
But as big as this number appears, it pales into insignificance when compared to the number of potential victims of social media cybercrime. Facebook has now admitted that the search function on the platform could have inadvertently made sensitive information from more than two billion users available to hackers.
But Facebook aren’t the only company that need to up their game. Social media fraud is significant. It’s happening today, and you need to do something to protect your accounts.
How are they getting information?
When it comes to hacking social media accounts, cybercriminals have several weapons in their arsenal. In the case of Facebook, thieves have, up until recently, been entering previously leaked email addresses and phone numbers into the site’s search bar.
This has allowed hackers to obtain more detailed information about potential targets making it easier to steal identities.
But in other cases, crooks use the “social” nature of social media sites themselves to harvest your information. Take the following case study for example.
Action: Mike gets a friend request from someone with mutual contacts on Facebook. He doesn’t think he knows them personally, but it would be rude not to accept, so he does.
Effect: That person now has access to the information he makes public to his Facebook friends.
Action: Mike posts a picture of the beach and tags himself, “Enjoying a cocktail by the sea!”
Effect: Mike’s new Facebook buddy knows he’s out of the house and uses the opportunity to hunt through his trash, he stumbles across a social security number. Mike checked in at “Home” a few weeks back, making it easy to track down his address.
Action: A few months later, Mike gets an email from his recently acquired Facebook friend. He wants to double check its legitimate, so Google’s the name and discovers he’s friends with the guy online. He opens the email and clicks the link.
Effect: Mike’s infects his computer with malware, his new friend sets about stealing his identity.
What’s the worst that can happen?
While the team at Cambridge Analytica were politically motivated, more unscrupulous hackers can do some serious damage with your data.
How can you avoid becoming a victim?
Avoiding social media fraud is all about vigilance. The following tips will help you stay protected.