Social media phishing is a topic that is near and dear to our hearts lately. It seems that there are new and unusual punishments for clicking on links that you don’t know. It can look legitimate, but nonetheless, you land on a page that in the end, you wish you had just ignored. Fear not, readers! Inspired eLearning has come up with an infographic that will help you avoid falling prey to these scams.

What is social media phishing?

The basics of social media phishing is that it’s an attempt to get your personal details in an effort to commit fraud. These frauds are perpetrated through links on social media. Social media is a prime target for phishing because it’s so easy to get you to click on a link. Generally, on social media,  you may not be paying as much attention as you would to a phishing email. It’s important to make sure that your personal details are safe on social media, so there are a few steps to avoid compromising your information.

How do these hackers get my information?

There are a few ways that they would normally target you.

First, you would most likely be familiar with impersonation scams. A lot of us have seen our family and friends fall victim to this because the hacker will use their actual information to get you to friend them. I’ve had people attempt to friend me via fake profiles at least 4 times in the last year. Generally, the point is to get you to click on their stuff, or to use private messages to solicit your information.

Second, they may target you through fake customer service accounts. Choosing a popular brand and creating a customer service account for it is a prime opportunity to get you to provide personal details. You may unwittingly contact them thinking that you’re contacting a representative about an order. Instead, they are simply collecting your information to use to their heart’s desire.

There are also the standard clickbait and fake contests. Clickbait may involve some outrageous headline intended to get you to click on it to see what the real story is. Instead of finding a story, you would find a virus. Fake contests will, in their very design, get you to spill those personal details in a flash.

How do I avoid these scams?

The best way is to make sure that you’re only clicking on links from trusted sources. If you suspect that one of your friends might have a fake profile, avoid clicking on those links and report it to the social media network. Also make sure that the links that you do click on are secure/encrypted. You may be familiar with the https;// type of link. That ‘s’ signifies that the site is encrypted. This is usually a safe link. Make sure that your profile is set to the appropriate privacy level. Also make sure that your antivirus software is up to date. This will help your firewalls catch threats before they make it into your computer.

What do I do if my information is compromised?

Inspired eLearning recommends shutting down your computer immediately. This should prevent additional attempts to gain access to your information. If you have the option of disconnecting from the network and rebooting to run a virus scan, you would be in an ideal position. Before reconnecting to any networks, make sure that you change all your passwords from a secure computer. This will make sure that the compromised computer is not logging your keystrokes and gaining access to your passwords anyway.

Also, protect your financial assets by making sure that you put a fraud alert on your accounts with major creditors. This will prevent you from losing anything financially that may have been compromised when the hack occurred. If you’ve already seen fraud on your accounts, cancel your cards and report this to the bank. You may have fraud protection remedies that would be available to you.

Putting it all together

Social media phishing is an issue that impacts so many of us. Most of us have at least one social media account that can fall victim to this issue. Fortunately, the previous steps that we went over will help you keep your accounts secure.