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Social Media – The Hunting Ground For #CyberCriminals

Do you ever hesitate to click on a post shared by a friend on Facebook? Not because it’s a boring picture of their dinner, but because you’re suspicious it might not actually have been posted by them?

The interconnectivity of social media means it is a perfect hunting ground for illegal activity, and increasingly people are realising that their “friend” may not actually be their friend.

Cyber crime on social networks can be broken down into three categories:

  • the traditional broad-sweep scams, trying to lure you to click on something or visit pages that will push malware on to your computer
  • searching for careless public exposure of personal data
  • using social media as a platform to connect, exchange ideas and trade stolen information

To reduce your risk from these cyber crimes, it is advised that you:
– Are aware of any links, attachments and adverts you click on when online
– Update your privacy settings – do you really know (and more importantly, trust) everyone who can see your social media accounts?
– Be social media savvy –  information about your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, or the name of your pet could be all over social media – and are the main security questions asked by any bank! Criminals are easily using this information against people.

For more information on how social media can be used by cyber criminals, and advice on how to stay safe from these crimes, visit this BBC News article.


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Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.

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