Nowadays, we all use a form of social media – some of us have had profiles for years that have the most personal of information – from our favourite interests to photos of our loved ones.

All of this shared personal data makes it easier for hackers to use tactics such as social engineering to gain access to these pieces of data!

This blog post will highlight how a hacker is able to use your data and how you can ensure you remain safe.

How hackers can use your data

Bruteforcing passwords

This is a technique where hackers just use whatever information they can to gain access to your password.

This could just be trying various combinations of passwords and numbers – if you have your name or your birthday in your password, this can then be easy to crack.

All of the details in your password could be things that are easily visible in your social media profiles!

Social engineering

Social engineering is the method of when a hacker will manipulate you by using data that is personal to you!

This could be done by a hacker messaging you asking about a family member or talking about a concert you may have been to – anything that the hacker will feel will gain your trust.

Hackers will then use this to their advantage and communicate with you to gain more information, they may even direct you to phishing pages and malware.

Physical theft

This may seem a bit extreme, but your social media profile could really provide a hacker with the perfect opportunity!

If you have disclosed images that may show a location, or even checked in at places, a hacker may be able to figure out your home (or another) address.

You may have disclosed information (such as pictures) that may show goods in your home (maybe an expensive piece of tech in your living room) which the hackers may try and target.

Some tips to stay remain safe on social media

  • Make sure your password isn’t easy to guess and use a different password for each social media platform (use a password manager).
  • Do not disclose any really personal information on your profile
  • Be careful what is images before you post them
  • Beware of messages from new people and question their intention – remember hackers may also be trying to impersonate people and brands.
  • Make sure all links you visit on social media are safe and SSL secured (which is something malicious websites often lack).
  • Do not fill out any weird quizzes that request personal information.
  • Do not install any apps onto your devices if you are promoted outside of the social media platform.
  • Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware protection up-to-date.

Read more about this

If you would like to learn more about the link between hackers and social media, you can read more from this article on Zerofox here.

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