Social Networking Security: How to Prevent Harmful Attacks?

MailXaminer | June 20th, 2020 | Forensics

Nowadays people have changed the way of interaction with one another. In today’s busy life, people do not have sufficient time for meetings, therefore social networking has become a great way to stay in touch.

The social network is a collection of websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, etc. that enables internet users to connect with people. Social networking is the fastest and easiest way to keep people in touch, making new friends and for finding the people who share a common interest.

However, it stores user’s information on remote servers due to which other people besides friends and acquaintances also get access to the information that has been uploaded on the sites. Even Hackers, identity thieves, stalkers can misuse user’s information present on social sites. Hackers can hack the entire user account or impersonate the user by using available uploaded data such as photos, videos, and other personal information.

To make ourselves safe and secure on the network, a user must take care of certain things. In this article, we will discuss the frauds on the social network and different tips that will ensure the security of user’s data over social networking sites.

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Frauds and Threats on Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites give opportunities to cybercriminals to target potential victims. In this section, we will discuss some frauds on social networking sites:

Social Media Scams and Phishing Attacks

The phishing attack is a kind of social engineering attack that can be used to steal a user’s sensitive information like login credentials or credit card details. In this scenario, an attacker tricks the recipient into believing that the email is offering what they need or want. For example, job offers from a company, etc.

Spear phishing is also an email communication social scam that generally targets companies and organizations. In spear phishing, an email from the attacker appears to be coming from a legitimate source. It generally attaches some documents or links with the email that the user requires to click or download to view the email. The attachment or link actually may contain viruses or a fake website that asks for personal information with the intent to steal it.

Malware Attacks and Hacks

Malware is a term used for a number of intrusive or malicious software which includes viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc. It quickly spreads on the user’s account and then in the system to gather personal and sensitive information about the user.

The malware may appear to be coming from a trusted source. So, if the user clicks on a link and downloads it then there is a chance that the software will harm the system and cause huge damage to the user.

Malicious Applications & Adware

Nowadays, the internet is full of malicious applications like Spyware or unwanted software. This software infiltrates the device, steals the internal usage and sensitive data without the user’s knowledge. Adware is the software used to send unwanted advertisements to the user’s system without any consent. This software may be in the form of a pop-up window or a non-closeable window that tricks the user to install it on the system.

Hijacking Accounts

In this situation, the user’s account is taken over by a malicious user to send messages, spam, sending out malware to steal personal information. It is a process in which an individual or company’s account is hijacked or stolen by the attacker, also called Cloud Account Hijacking. Then, the attacker generally uses a fake email account or other credentials to impersonate the actual account owner.

Tips for Being Safe on Social Network

Social networking sites can be a great way to connect with friends and close ones. But while using the network, the user must take care of the security and safety of account having user’s personal details. There are some tips and tricks that should follow by the users while using social sites:

Manage Privacy Settings – Before using social sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. users must read about the privacy policy of websites. Users can manage the safety of accounts by using their privacy and security settings. These settings help the user to limit the users who can access your account information. This simply means that using these setting options, one can manage who can see or cannot see posts in your account.

Remember: “Once you post something online, it always stays online” – Users must think twice before posting the things online because what they post online stays online. Never post what you don’t want to be available on the internet as public information, this is the only way to keep private information protected.

Protect your Device – Security basically starts with the security of the device. Protect your device with security apps and antivirus software. Keep the operating system, web browser, and other installed software updated to prevent your device from malicious attacks.

Use Strong Passwords – The key factor that determines the resilience of a password against cracking attempts is its length. Though, the complexity of the password is also important. Therefore, passphrases are more secure than passwords.

Be Cautious and Aware of Social Networking Sites – On social networking sites, some links and URLs seen by the users seem useful and legitimate. But, they may contain redirection to malicious websites and can end up infecting the machine of the person going to the website with malicious applications. This harmful software can be a part of the phishing attack. Never click directly at any suspicious link. Contact the sender and verify the validity of the link first.

Conclusion

In today’s modern world, social networking site plays a major role in people’s life. Similarly, hackers and stalkers on the internet are also active who tricks users to gain sensitive information from them. They apply different techniques to make it happen. In this write-up, we mentioned some popular frauds on social networking sites and tips to stay safe online. Users should be aware and careful in order to save their data from such cyber criminals.