Today, we have become more dependent on technology for completing all kinds of tasks, ranging from business to mundane activities. For example, corporates use online means to finalize their deals, house owners prefer to shop online, students learn online, and the list goes on. To incorporate all the online processes, the users have to put their credentials and log in to different sites or make payments online, which poses a threat of data theft.
When computers were created and the internet was invented, no one would have thought that the cyber world may also provide opportunities to nurture cybercriminals. However, that exists as a major setback of the internet today. Almost all applications that work on the internet are affected by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals identify and use the platforms that people spend the most time on to commit their actions seamlessly. Social media platforms are the most commonly used and accessed sites by users to engage and communicate. Users put in their personal details, which can be misused or maligned by cybercriminals causing concerns for internet users.
In this article, we will discuss how social media networks pose threats in the cyber world.
It is required of an individual to create an account to use a social media application. And, while making an account, the user has to input all personal details such as name, place, age, occupation, email address, and much more. Social media sites and all other websites acquire the information for carrying out their operations. For example, dissertation writing services will take your details to offer you writing services etc.
Social media mining refers to the knowledge discovery within databases. It is the process of obtaining big data from social media pages to understand the user’s behaviours and use that information to create a marketing strategy and target their key audience.
Different companies use the information to monitor how people behave and interact on social media. While some companies ensure the security of the data they obtain to benefit their business, others share information with third parties without the consent of the users, who may misuse it for achieving inappropriate purposes.
Phishing is a cybercrime act in which online users are accessed through messages, phone calls, or emails presenting themselves as legitimate people or representatives of legitimate organizations to deceive the users and lure them into sharing their personal information. When users get phone calls, emails, or messages, they are assured in a way that they do not feel they are being deceived. Therefore, they easily share their sensitive information such as bank details, addresses, passwords, and so much more. Cybercriminals obtain phone numbers and emails from social media sites or message them directly on their social media accounts.
3. Malware sharing:
Malware, also known as malicious software, is a software specially designed to get access to the information of a computer. Once malware enters a computer, it provides the offenders access to that computer’s information. Once they get control over the data of the computer, they can blackmail the computer owner into doing whatever they want. Social media platforms are the most common means for malware infiltration into the computer. Therefore, social media users can easily become prey to malware sharing.
4. Botnet Attacks:
There are a lot of automated accounts and social media bots that engage with real people on social media. They create posts and follow people if their attributes match the programmed settings. Moreover, these bots collectively make a network known as a botnet. Then, these bots are used to obtain the personal and sensitive information of the users.
We all have come across scams, once, twice, or more, in our social media journey. The scams are targeted at people to fool them into clicking maligned discount offers and coupons. Social media is an ideal venue for distributing scam content and persuading people to immediately click on the links, which are aimed at obtaining the user’s personal data.
6. Information leakage:
Social media has become a marketplace for data hackers to sell and buy data. Many hackers obtain information from social media accounts and sell it to others, who then use them for multiple purposes. In that way, social media has transformed into a wicked retailing site rather than a secure space where people can interact and communicate.
7. Account takeovers:
Cybercriminals hack social media accounts and get access to the accounts to get information. Since they become in charge of the account they hack, they can use many ways to destroy the image of the person or corporate. They can blackmail the account owner to steal sensitive information or extort money.
In sum, social media can pose a threat to the user’s security in terms of how it provides an opportunity to get access to sensitive information in wide-ranging manifestations.
Casey Harward is a technical writer and editor with experience in research-based content. She also has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster, UK. Casey specializes as a professional editor and Research Prospect. She loves reading articles, blogs, magazines, newspapers and books in her free time.