Each social media platform has different levels of privacy
methods to implement them.
Review the listed most popular platforms
Email and Social Media Scams
Social media scams include some sort of "ask” and is the biggest red flag to look out for.
If someone (even a family member) asks you to do something, then this could lead you to becoming hacked and put your friends and family at risk of falling victim to the same scam.
You may be wondering why a hacker would target a personal account. You may think you're boring and have nothing of interest nor will they get any money out of you.
What is attractive about social media accounts is either the length of time it has existed or the amount of connections/friends/followers you have. Lets look at what they do with your account once it has been hacked.
Firstly consider the inconvenience of losing access to your account, ask yourself will the social media giants really help me get access to my account back over and above the usual automated processes? The answer to that is generally no. The reason is that they have thousands of users accounts hacked all over the world on a daily basis so it is impossible to keep up with. You cannot speak directly with these companies.
So when a hacker gets into your account they will immediately change all of your personal information, linked accounts and recovery methods. You may think the social media giants would notice this mass change of personal information but they don’t due to the sheer volume of accounts.
Now that you have accepted that you will not regain access to your account, what will the hacker do with all of your personal information?
Well they can use it for many things. For example:
They will use it to send investment scams or request for money to your contacts which we know many people fall for.
They may use the account to promote propaganda.
Sometimes they post child abuse images to discredit you and get your account closed down.
Often they demand a ransom payment usually between £200-£500 to get access back.
They could sell your data to other criminals, who could use your information to commit further Fraud.
Take control and consider if you need to post or share personal information in the first place, then follow the below steps to protect your accounts.
I have been hacked. How do I recover my account? click here
Top 3 steps to protect your accounts
Use a strong and different password for your email using 3 random words
Your email password should be strong and different from all your other passwords.
Combining 3 random words that each mean something to you is a great way to create a password that is easy to remember but hard to crack.
Do not use words that can be guessed (like your pet's name). You can include numbers and symbols if needed. For example, “Hippo!PizzaRocket1”
Extra account protection:
2-Step Verification (2SV), also known as 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) gives you twice the protection. 2SV works by asking for more information to prove your identity. For example, getting a code sent to your phone or authentication app, when you sign in using a new device or change settings such as your password. You won't be asked for this every time, but it does add more protection. Adding this to your email will also help to protect your social media accounts.
Backing up your data: How to make sure you can recover your important photos, documents, and other personal data stored on your IT equipment.
Install the latest software and app updates: Applying security updates promptly will help protect your devices and accounts from cyber criminals
On a final note, ensure you have removed any old email accounts no longer used.
Phishing and avoiding scams:
Be aware of current Social Media scams:
Fake Influencer voting: Sent via social media message from a hacked friend or family member to fool social media users into clicking on a malicious link to vote for them to be a top influencer through a fake competition. This will lock you out of your account.
Phishing message or email: Scams might urge you to use a fake login link to appeal against a terms of service strike on your account. Other emails claim suspicious activity that they’ll ask you to log in and verify. Some victims have been scammed, by sharing their 2-Step Verifications codes, which is like handing over the house keys to their account.
Giveaways: Ask that you give personal information, make a payment, or log into a site in exchange for a prize. This will leave you hacked and unable to access your account.
Support: This could be any request of help or support with your social media account or from a friend/family member (who will have also been hacked). Never share login credentials or authentication codes. This is like giving over the keys to your account.
Bitcoin Investment: If hacked asked to pay a Ransom and/or film hostage-style video promoting fraudulent cryptocurrency get-rich-quick schemes, as hackers from around the world hijack and hold social media accounts for ransom. This will not get your account back but will allow the hackers to scam people into buying Bitcoin on their behalf.
WhatsApp scams: A new cybercriminal trick has been reported, in which they send a simple message such as 'Hi Mum’ or ‘Hi Dad’ with a reason for using a different phone number. A common excuse appears to be that the phone is lost or damaged. For more information: click here