Social media was once a location where bad actors could simply have fun hacking into someone’s account. However, the sheer volume of personal information contained on the average social media account has opened up a playbook for the hackers to not only steal information, but do it for profit. Social media account hacking is considered to be a main starting point for full on identity theft and those that are more comfortable sharing everything about their lives and trusting apps and links are especially vulnerable.
In the business world, social media accounts are a valuable marketing tool to glean new clients and get products and service messages out to the public. Whether an individual or a company, cyber criminals view social media accounts as an easy way to get access and once they take over it can be a gruelling process to get an account back. Once a social media account is compromised, a brand can be quickly destroyed and an individual’s reputation ruined. This is especially true for the accounts of corporate executives.
The pandemic opened an entirely new landscape for threat actors as they took advantage of more people working from home offices and fewer staff watching a company network. Attempts at hijacking social media accounts for companies increased during the pandemic. Google reported that around 20% of social media accounts will be compromised at one point or another and a report by the University of Phoenix has stated that around 2/3 of U.S. Adults have experienced an attack on their account. Once a hacker has breached your social media account they will gather as much information and data as they can as quickly as they can and it can be sold on the dark web. This is also where the next layer of problems begins as your personal or company email address can experience everything from high SPAM volumes to attempts at ransomware attacks.
While social media platforms do have methods to try to assist, they are not always easy or successful. In the case of Facebook just trying to notify them of a problem is a problem in itself. They will turn your account access off and redirect you to a page where you are supposed to upload “proof” of who you are for verification. However, no matter what type of document you try to upload, it will often fail. There is a limit of 30 days to accomplish this and if you can’t succeed, the social media account is permanently removed without the ability to ever get it back.
Actions You Can Take to Protect Your Social Media Accounts:
- Where possible, use two-factor authentication.
- Never share the page credentials or account information.
- Do not download any apps that were unsolicited, especially those that request permission to post for you.
- Make every attempt to have unique passwords for all accounts.
- Be sceptical of any abnormal third party communication requests.
“Social media has become a mainstay for people and businesses around the globe and as such it is one of the easiest ways for hackers to steal information. DaVinci Cybersecurity works in conjunction with individuals and companies for threat assessment and offers education to assist in keeping everyone’s accounts safe. Contact our team to ensure security for your social media world.”
Sharon Knowles, CEO DaVinci Cybersecurity