Tuesday, April 20, 2021

How Hackers utilize your Social Media information to Scam you?

We are living in an era where scammers have access to every person on the Internet. People often receive suspicious emails from scammers and hackers who try to lure you into performing an action that can ultimately compromise your privacy. These phishing emails are no more skeptical for individuals as they are now aware of such scams.

These scamming techniques are now outdated, and hackers are moving to a more personalized approach to target specific people after collecting their details from social media and other platforms. This is exactly what hackers do in Spear Phishing, where a certain individual or organization is laser targeted.

Exposing Ourselves

We individually provide hackers with enough data that they confidently send us spoofed and targeted emails that seem very legit. We share our lives on social media and the locations we have visited, and we share pictures of our families and their names. Hackers actually utilize each and everything available on your social media, whether it’s your birth date or even your pet’s name. 

Social Media is like a key to many people’s lives, and hackers do their best to steal that key to unlock doors of your mind to make you perform actions that can put your privacy at risk. So, how really your social media is being utilized in all this?

SocialMedia Oversharing

We are so connected to our social media that we capture and post every moment of our life in the form of status and posts. This oversharing does more harm than good. Hackers get some deep insights by tracking your life to collect the keys that they will utilize to target you as a victim.

According to a Help Net Security Report, 84% of people post something on social media every week, and around 42% post regularly. The later percentage is alarming because you disclose many details to attackers when you overshare on social media.

Posting Job Updates

Getting a job at a reputable company is one of the happiest moments for many people, and they rush to their social media profiles for updating their status before even they know about their company’s executives or other employees.

Hackers often look for such status updates, and they send personalized spoof emails, guise as company’s executives who demand some private information by creating a sense of urgency, and most people fall for it considering it an important email from the company.

At the time of Covid-19, when employees started work from home, many of them uploaded their pictures showing off their laptops in selfies. Hackers also picked information from those laptop screens, including email addresses and phone numbers that they later used for scamming.

Ways to Stay Safe Online

The first and foremost thing you have to do is to stop oversharing on social media. Only share important updates on your profiles and do not update everything urgently. Make sure you are not disclosing any information that a hacker may utilize to guess your passwords or security questions such as your pet’s name etc.

Also, it is important to keep a separate password for all social media platforms, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. Do not use the same passwords for all accounts.

Be careful about the personal and company emails you receive. Make sure to check everything and do not urgently click on any links or buttons that you find suspicious. Check email’s display name, sender’s mail address and confirm it carefully. If you are still suspicious, then call the concerned person from your phone or approach him from a different platform to authenticate the email.

These spam emails often leave some clues through which you can identify them instantly, avoid any urgent actions until or unless you are assured of the email’s authenticity.

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