Is social media platform less susceptible to virus attack?

| | 2 min read

Social media has become a part and parcel of our personal lives, rapidly transforming the way we build, interact, and maintain relationships. Unfortunately, the proliferation of online social networking websites have opened up more opportunities for cybercriminals, hackers, and other unscrupulous elements. Popular networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are constant targets of malware and scam attacks.

As per a 2013 Pew Research report, around 81 percent of Internet-intiated cybercrimes involves social media websites, especially Facebook and Twitter. Estimates regarding the financial cost of cybercrimes range from $100 billion to an enormous $1 trillion a year in the U.S. Identity theft, phishing schemes, fraud, and data mining constitute a majority of cyber crimes. The spate in such incidents once again reveals the vulnerability of social media websites. At worst, cybercrime can lead to financial ruin and potentially threaten a victim’s reputation and personal safety.

There are different types of cybercrimes associated with social networking, such as Identity theft, Phishing, Malware, Adware, Spyware, Cyber bullying, Sexting, and crimes based on information obtained from websites, particularly home robberies committed after a family posts information about their vacation.

Here are some tips to protect yourself from cybercrime in social media networks:

  • It is extremely important to install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer and update it frequently.
  • Never use your Facebook or Twitter password for your bank account or any other accounts.
  • Never give your password to your friends or other people.
  • Do not click on hyperlinks on webpages to access your social networking site.
  • Never click on unsolicited links.
  • Never click on a link or open an attachment in a suspicious message, even if it seems to be a message from one of your friends or acquaintances.
  • Cybercriminals can also use social media websites to victimise businesses.

Let's take a look at some of the ways to defend your organization from the onslaught of cybercrime.

  • Draft an organizational policy for social networking and train your employees on the safety measures that have to be adopted to prevent cybercrime.
  • Consistently monitor the access to social networks
  • Always use strong passwords while creating corporate profile on social networking sites
  • Upgrade IT Network Security: Go for a solution that provides a host of security features and scans HTTPS sites
  • Ask employees to refrain from using their official email address when signing up for social networking sites
  • Advise employees to be cautious about clicking the links or installing plugins/pop-ups
  • Advise employees to monitor the personal information they post in social media networks
  • Employees must not allow social networking sites to scan their email address book
  • Limit the number of individuals who are authorized to blog or tweet on behalf of the organization
  • Go for an authorized spokesperson for your organization in Facebook or Twitter
  • Always maintain a record of all public/employee disclosures