Cybersecurity Awareness Month recognizes the importance of how much our daily lives depend on the internet and the security of data.
Social media: The pandemic amplified the need for people to socialize at a safe distance, increasing the amount of time many spent on the Internet. As fraud continues to rise, people need to be mindful that with every social media account they sign up for, every picture posted and status updated, they are sharing information with the world — and hackers who want to gain access to their social media accounts.
Did you know?
- In 2020 3.81 billion people worldwide now use social media. That’s an increase of more than 9% from 2019. Put another way: 49% of the total world population are using social networks.
- Digital consumers spend nearly 2.5 hours on social networks and social messaging every day.
- 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site and the average American has 7 social media accounts.
Social media security tips: So, why would a hacker want your account when it’s filled with photos of your dog or that room you renovated during Covid? First and foremost, it’s a legitimate account. Social media platforms delete billions of fake accounts every year. Bad guys steal real accounts, like yours, and sell them on the black market where buyers can use them to spread propaganda or to extort and scam money from unsuspecting victims. Victims whom may be in your social media friends list.
Use these simple cybersecurity rules to protect yourself and others, and to navigate social media confidently and safely:
- Use separate and complex passwords, or better yet a passphrase, for each social media platform, and all online accounts. Change these passwords often as hackers buy and sell stolen password lists on the dark web.
- Make sure you understand the account password recovery and reset services. If a hacker gains access to your account, one of the first things they’ll attempt to do is reset the password. If the platform offers some form of multi-factored authentication, such as a text message approval, use it wherever possible.
- Be leery of private messages, even if sent from a colleague or friend. Follow the adage of trust through verification. Call or text the person to verify it’s them contacting you. Use the phone number from your contacts list and not the one provided in the message. If you don’t have their number, do you really need to be in communication with them over social media platforms? Probably not.
- Don’t overshare. Hackers can utilize information you post on social media platforms in complex social engineering attacks against you.
The pandemic has changed our personal and work life structure. New hybrid work environments, with employees continuing to send and receive emails from their personal devices, further increase risk at work. Hackers often use attacks against a single employee to gain access to an entire organization. Don’t be that pathway for the attackers. Make cybersecurity a priority today.
Victims are encouraged to contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to report the online crime.
Join us in spreading the word about Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Raising awareness is a critical first step. By doing so, our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.
Content courtesy of SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc.