Glossary of Terms:
Types of Social Media Threats
Profile Hacking is what happens when, as a user, you are not able to log in to your account. Someone has complete control of your account and has changed all the credentials. Facebook is the most hacked social networking site and it generally happens because of the following reasons:
- Not logging out from the account
- Sharing passwords or having passwords that are easily predicted
- Hacking the email with which you login to your Facebook account
- Logging in through Facebook options for apps
Photo Morphing is a special effect that allows a person to morph or change one image or shape into another without any difficulty. With billions of photos shared every day it’s easy for a hacker to use your images, morph it and then use it for porn sites or blackmailing for financial/sexual gains
Imposter Accounts & Fake News. Imposters and hackers may be operating from a foreign country and thus may not know the native language very well, leading to easily identifiable typos. Hasty efforts to set up accounts or websites may lead to them looking unprofessional or sloppy. Legitimate organizations will want their online presence to look good and free of typos!
Watch out for sensational or outrageous titles. False news relies on catchy titles that pack in a lot of detail to grab readers, possibly for nefarious reasons.
Click Bait Scams. Scammers have started creating intriguing posts to bait consumers into clicking and subsequently falling victim to sharing personal information or downloading malware and viruses. Once a user clicks the sensational or outlandish link a pop up asks them to “update your video player” or “scan” your computer for possible viruses.
Chain Letters. You’ve likely seen this one before — the dreaded chain letter, “Retweet this and receive good fortune” or outcome. Most often it is a prankster looking for a laugh, or a spammer needing “friends” to hit up later. Many well-meaning people pass these fake claims onto others. Break the chain
Hidden Charges. “What Disney character are you? Find out with our quiz! All of your friends have taken it!” Hmm, this sounds interesting, so you enter your info and cell number, as instructed. You’ve also just unwittingly subscribed to some dubious service that charges $9.95 every month.
As it turns out, that “free, fun service” is neither. Be wary of these bait-and-switch games. They tend to thrive on social sites.
Phishing & Brand Impersonation. Phishing typically involves setting up a website that resembles that of the company whose customers are targeted as part of the phishing attack. The idea is to convince the individuals that the website belongs to the trusted company, such as the person’s bank, so that the victim reveals sensitive information (such as login credentials, credit card information, etc.).
Connected Apps & Permissions. Most companies have applications that are connected to their social media accounts. These may include your listening system, your publishing system, your analytics system, etc. Know that other applications can be in-roads to access, so understanding the security practices around your connected apps is critical. Notice how many apps ask for access to your photos, microphone, camera, location? Take a few minutes to look over the most sensitive permissions and ensure you aren’t handing over too much info.
Cryptomining and digital currency scams. Since 2017 there has been a 400 to 600% increase in the amount ofcryptomining malware being detected globally, the vast majority of which has been found on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Messenger and YouTube. Apps, adverts and links have been the primary delivery mechanism for cryptomining software on social platforms.
Hijacking of Trustworthy Verified Accounts. Hackers take over the verified account. Messages are sent out from the stolen account sabotaging creditability and demanding ransome in cryptocurrency.
Social Media Enabling Traditional Crime. Social media platforms are also hosting a thriving criminal ecosystem for more traditional criminal activity. They serve as a recruitment centre for money mules used for laundering, with posts or adverts offering opportunities to earn large amounts of money in a short time. Reports of a large amounts of drugs like cannabis, GHB and even fentanyl being sold on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.