Social media makes it easy to stay in touch with friends, family, coworkers and even your business’s customers or clients. Research shows that over 4 billion people now use it. By 2027, the total number of people on social media is expected to increase to nearly 6 billion. Unfortunately, social media isn’t immune to cyber threats. There are several common types of cyber threats lurking on social media, some of which include the following.
#1) Account Breaches
Account breaches is a common cyber threat on social media. If your account is breached, your personal data will become compromised. Using a weak password or reusing the same password could result in an account breach, thereby exposing your posts, photos or private messages to unauthorized individuals.
#2) Friend-Hijacked Phishing
Have you received a private message from a friend on social media? It may be part of a phishing attempt. It’s normal for users to send private messages to their friends and connections on social media. What’s not normal, however, is for these messages to contain a request for money or sensitive information. A hacker may breach one of your friend’s accounts, after which the hacker may use that account to conduct a phishing attack.
#3) Malware Distribution
Malware distribution remains one of the most common types of cyber threats on social media. Hackers may use social media to spread viruses, trojans, ransomware and other forms of malware. They may publish the malware on an external website, after which they may link to that site in social media posts.
Another common cyber threat to avoid on social media is clickjacking. Clickjacking involves a bad actor tricking users into clicking on hidden or disguised links. The goal is to get users to perform malicious actions, such as installing malware or sharing content without their consent. Before clicking a link posted on social media. make sure it’s legitimate and not part of a clickjacking scheme.
#5) Insider Threats
What are insider threats exactly? Employees with access to the social media accounts of a business may inadvertently or deliberately disclose sensitive information, share confidential data or engage in unauthorized activities. Insider threats encompass cyber threats that occur from within a business; they typically involve a business’s employees, and insider threats commonly occur on social media.
Social media is commonly used for scams. Bad actors may promote scams like fraudulent investment opportunities or pyramid schemes, where users may fall victim to financial losses or identity theft.