Social Media and Cybersecurity: What You Should Know
Social media can be a great tool for making and maintaining business and personal connections. However, it can be a huge cybersecurity threat for unsuspecting users. It is all too easy for hackers to pose as someone else and use the website to get information.
For businesses, this can make every single employee’s social media accounts a threat. How can you ensure that your use does not affect your personal and corporate security?
Here’s how hackers manipulate social media to manipulate users, what risks this poses to a business, and what you can do to protect yourself and your business:
Why cyber criminals love social media
Almost everyone in the modern world has a social media account, and many have several. There are 2.7 billion users on Facebook alone and 330 million on Twitter. Some social media websites like LinkedIn are specifically designed for professional use. Many companies have Facebook pages to communicate with customers. Twitter is popular for both business and personal use.
These websites span the world and have users from all walks of life. People share and exchange huge amounts of information on social media websites without even thinking about it. This makes these platforms very attractive to cyber criminals. Most websites cannot verify that a user is who they say they are. Many people have a false sense of security when connecting with others.
How hackers target social media
There are a number of ways that hackers can use social media against individuals and companies. It’s important that you take your guidelines into account when talking to co-workers on social media while working hard to keep your own safe.
Social media websites go a long way towards keeping their websites secure, but they cannot prevent users from using the same passwords across platforms. If a user uses a password on Facebook and your internal systems, a data breach on Facebook could result in a data breach in your office.
When people post personal information online, it can be used by cyber criminals to design targeted attacks. Cyber criminals can easily see the names of your friends and family, as well as details that you post about yourself. If an employee verifies a personal account on a work device, there is a risk of compromising the company network or computer.
It is common for hackers to create fake duplicate profiles of real people and add some of their same friends and family contacts. Many will accept them outright and fail to realize that the profile doesn’t really belong to the person they know. They can then send dangerous click links or messages requesting information from their contacts who do not know it is a scam.
A hacker can find information in a social media account that can help them answer security questions. It’s easy to check a person’s family relationships, such as finding out their mother’s maiden name. When someone responds to a social media challenge where they tag their childhood best friend, add a picture of their first car, or high school mascot, they may be providing compromising information.
With answers to commonly asked security questions, a hacker can attempt to access email accounts. If they have access to an email, they can see all communications sent by email, access additional work accounts using their email credentials, and send emails from your address to customers or employees.
Some of the problems associated with social media are not directly related to hackers or criminals. In fact, users can put themselves at risk by expressing extreme opinions on platforms like Twitter while publicly affiliated with a company.
This can also affect an employer’s reputation, which is why it is important for employees to keep separate business and personal accounts. It’s also a good idea for accounts where users have work information to always make it clear that opinions are their own and do not represent their company.
How to Prevent a Cyber Security Threat
Protecting yourself and your business from the threats associated with social media can be a challenge. It is important that everyone be careful about what information they make public. Additionally, it can be helpful to change all of your social media privacy settings to limit sharing to contacts only.
Method Technologies, a managed service provider specializing in cybersecurity, recommends that companies take significant steps to improve their security. It is important to implement password protection and to notify employees that fraudulent emails are detected. Institute policy on work and access to personal accounts on the same accounts. By following these steps, you can better avoid social media threats to your corporate cybersecurity.