Phishing -- Social Media

Last week we published part two of this four-part article by looking at phishing by phone calls. This week we look at phishing by social media.

3) Social media. Of the three types of phishing discussed here, phishing in social media is by far the most dangerous because unlike emails and phone calls, the interactivity between people on social media lead many people to let their guard down. There is a false sense of intimacy and trust. After all, on platforms such as Facebook, you are only friends with your friends and you only like pages you trust. But don't forget: in order to find friends on social media or have them find you, your personal information is displayed for the world to see. Therefore, it is especially important to remember that on social media sites you make only the bare minimum personal information visible to the world; or better yet, opt to display no personal information publicly.

Even without your posting your personal details, you can still be easily hooked in social media. This can happen several ways, from giving your credit card information to games hosted on social media to letting your friend know in a private message some information when they ask for it, when in reality your friend's account has been hijacked, and the person asking for the information is a scammer.

With social media, it is best to keep an eye on the people and companies you follow in order to make sure that they are acting in a consisten manner because if one of them suddenly contacts you talking in a way you are unfamiliar with, it is likely that their account has been hijacked. You should contact those whose accounts you suspect have been hijacked by a different medium to make sure that it was they who contacted you, or else to alert them that their accounts have been taken over. Once again, never follow links blindly; and if you suspect suspicious behavior, report it immediately so that the account can be terminated.

Next week we will conclude our article on phishing by looking at what to do if you get scammed.

Written by Becky Pontiff, Student Technician
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See also: Phishing, Security