Cyber Theft in Social Media- Beware

Computer screens with a dark ominous mask figure. Social media is becoming more and more prominent in our everyday life and if you’re one of the millions using a social media platform, you should stay cognizant that you could be in danger of cyber theft. “How can you be a casualty of cybercrime?”, you may ask, well it can be a number of things such as accepting friend requests from people you may not know, talk to accounts who act as friends and persuade you to provide money or passwords, giveaways, or even sign up using an email and password to get a free item. Here are a few tips so you can keep yourself safe from harmful cyber-attacks. 

Private Messages 

From time to time you may get a private message from an account which is pretty easy to spot that it is spam and you just ignore it. But, there are some that could catch you off guard if you’re not paying attention. Here are a few messages you could receive that you should keep an eye out for:

  • You could receive a message by a third party saying you have been tagged in a photo and will give you a link to “see” your photo. 
  • A friend of yours who you haven’t spoken to in years sends you a private message saying, “Just saw this photo of you. How could you do that?!” With a link attached. This is click bait, don’t click on it. Try to notify your friend because they were hacked.
  • A friend out of the blue sends you a video link to watch. This can contain malware.
  • Getting a friend request from a person you are already friends with. If this happens, contact your friend by calling or texting them from outside that app to let them know so they can report it. 
  • Interacting with your followers is a thing now and sometimes you might not even know them personally but you created an online friendship with them. Be cautious, it may lead to them asking you to donate to a cause and they take direct payment for it or ask you for help to fund a project.


Limit Your Email Sharing

Unless you have multiple emails that are used for family, business, and general emails; most of us just have one email address that is used for all communications. There may be a giveaway that you see through social media that you want to participate in, be wary of who is doing the giveaway and what you need to provide in order to register. If it is too good to be true, it likely is and can lead to identity theft. Research the company that you are signing up for before you do it. You don’t want to load your inbox with spam and possible harmful emails to the only email address you have.


Review Your Privacy Settings

Going over your privacy settings periodically is crucial. Sometimes if you update your phone or the app, there could be a glitch and settings may be altered or if you get a new phone the settings could be adjusted.

If your application has a two-factor authentication option when signing in, do it. It may take you a little longer to sign in, but it’s very important. Using a two-factor authentication makes it harder for the cyber thief to sign in and steal your information.


Refrain From Oversharing

Sometimes we just want to share our lives to the people around us not thinking anything malicious could be lurking on the other side. It can. Oversharing where your kids go to school, how old they are, what activities they may enjoy, even your pets names can lead to a thief compiling data that can lead to password breach.