We all know the joys, benefits and fun associated with social networking. Almost everyone does it. Often in the moment we can post things that we normally wouldn’t say aloud, nor would we want others to see, which can be embarrassing for ourselves, our families and can even compromise our studies or employment.
Risk Factors and Threats
One thing that many of us do not realize until it’s too late is the risk associated with our identities. Identity theft can happen to anyone who exposes too much personal information online on various social networking sites.
Identity theft is the key threat to many social media users, as millions of online users use their personal information in order to getting registered with one or more social media platforms. Such huge information with personal data of so many people is one of the easiest targets for many cyber criminals. Many users are also provided information about their credit or debit card and use those cards to purchase different products, items or services through these social media platforms. This is why the cyber criminals around the world are continuously trying to get inside the personal details of many users from those social media platforms.
It is a not a good idea to give away any personal information which a person can use to steal your identity, such as a birth date or address. If you wouldn’t give this information to a complete stranger on the street, do not post it online.
According to Symantec’s 2014 Internet Security Threat Report, the primary motive behind social networking attacks is monetary gain. The report outlines that phishing attacks are evolving, “moving further away from email and into the social media landscape.” Nonetheless, the same techniques that security professionals have observed in phishing and spam emails are being leveraged in social media campaigns. These include, but are not limited to
• Fake Offers, which often requires the user to share credentials;
• “Likejacking”, whereby fake “Like” buttons install malware to ultimately gain access to the user’s computer;
• Fake Plug-ins, tricking users to download fake Internet browser extensions, which can pose as legitimate extensions, but in reality steal sensitive information from the infected machine; and
• Fake Apps, tricking users to install a supplemental application that appears to be integrated for use with a social network, but is used to steal access credentials.
We can set our personal settings on each site we use to show how identifiable and searchable we will be on each site. Use it at your discretion. Most sites you can adjust your settings so that only select friends and family can see your personal information and pictures, while people who aren’t in your friends list will not.
Many people have to pay the price after being the victim of cyber crime at different social media platforms. Many people even terminate and deactivate their social media account after such bad experiences. It is not the solution, we can minimize the risk of cyber attack on our social media profiles by following some easy principles. At first you must determine which information to share and which are not. Almost every social media platforms will give you the option to decide how much information you want to share with your friends and other people on that network. You can make you profile extremely private or extremely public as per your requirement.
Be very selective and careful for both send and accept friend request, especially from unknown people. Be very careful when you are going to join any group over those social media platforms. Always try to verify the identity of any individual before you are going to send or accept any friend request. Avoid any request from those people, who are not known to you. Be very careful if you need to provide too much personal information during joining any group.
Social Media is like a first-person shooter game, if you won’t play it safe, you might get shot down but do remember, you can always use the Health packs and start back .