Avoiding Ransomware Threats on Social Media

Ransomware is one of the biggest cyber threats right now, where hackers threaten the victims’ data unless a ransom is paid. With an estimated 2.77 billion people using social media in 2019, it’s no surprise cybercriminals use it for easy attacks. They have become one of the most significant gateways for malware, spread through shortened URLs or social media ads.

Reports of cybercrime on social media are now showing that hackers will base their ransom demands on what you post. For example, you make yourself a target if you post things like your fancy new BMW, a trip to a five-star resort, or anything else determined a luxury. Ransomware determines the type of scams you are likely to click on based on your interests. They then place the value to release your files and information perceived amount you’d be able to spend. Through ransom software, the hackers target individuals of social media and can lock their desktop, files, and even SmartPhones.

Using social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Skype, hackers demand payments using the untraceable cryptocurrency. Victims entering their Credit Card information enables this. 

Social Media On Digital Tablet

So does your wealth increase your chances of being victimized for a cybercrime? Yes, but not everyone who posts their proudest material possessions on social media is rich. In turn, the companies these individuals work for are often held with the charges.

According to research, 43% of attacks are aimed at small businesses, as they use social media to promote online. The hackers target the company’s employees by what they post. When employees link their information to their employers, their personal information and interests can be used against them. Phishing scams explicitly catered to an employees’ post are more likely to be opened, and in turn, infect the software systems used by their employers. 

Avoid these 7 common social media pitfalls:

 

1. Linking personal profiles with company social media pages: 

Whether one person acts as the main administrator for a companies social media pages, or there are multiple key players with access, it is best to create professional accounts rather than link personal accounts.

2. Posting sites where you like to engage in online shopping 

This information can be used to craft a targeting phishing email with a malicious link. Often, a sign appears warning fraudulent activity, promoting the user to click the link, which then launches the attack.

3. Relying solely on the security features given by social media providers

While platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc, work hard to make users feel safe against cybersecurity threats, it is best for organizations to create their own social media policies. Staff education and training play an essential part in adhering to the security posture businesses want. A trusted cybersecurity partner can assist with staff training to improve security culture and decrease the chances of a successful ransomware attack.

4. Overlooking privacy settings

Make your profile as it appears to the public as limited as possible. For personal social networks like Facebook, where you show your possessions and interests, ensure your basic information such as employers, school, hometown, etc. are not visible. Business networks like LinkedIn, which are used for professional networking, should not be used to display personal interests.

5. Posting your possessions

As mentioned above, showing off your fancy material possessions can be used as a target against you. Ads and links created for your interests are more likely to get your attention, and the more money you appear to have, the higher hackers set their ransom. 

6. Meeting Over the Internet

Internet dating apps and social media platforms have made it easier than ever to find a date. However, one of the biggest problems with online dating is ‘cat fishing’. The term refers to users who create a profile with false information and photos. Some do this simply because they wish only to communicate and not meet in person. Disappointment is not the biggest issue here; their goal may be to get you to reveal your personal and financial information.

7. Leaving accounts unattended

If you leave an account unattended for too long, you could enable attackers to break into your account. Hackers can commit fraud, post inappropriate messages, and perform illegal activities under your name. This cybercrime can be damaging to your personal or your brand’s reputation.

What we post on social media could pose a threat to ourselves or the company we work for. Even if we can’t offer much to a cyber hacker in terms of a hefty ransom, they may target our employer. Small to mid-size businesses posses files rich in clients’ personal data, subject to be worth thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency. Protect yourself and the future of your career by taking precautions and using cybersecurity. 

The experts at Simply Secure are industry certified professionals, delivering cybersecurity solutions in the Miami – Fort Lauderdale area