Social media can be a wonderful way to help you connect with the world. By sharing updates and regularly posting on social media you can let everyone know what you’re up to as well as explore content that is published by other users in your group of friends and followers.
Even though this can be a novel experience and a fantastic way to stay interconnected with people even across international borders, information that you publish online can be targeted quite easily by a group of individuals that may have malicious intent.
Your social media profile may be one of the greatest targets for hackers that you may not know about.
Social media profiling for malicious intent:
We publish a surprising amount of personal data on social media. Because social media is all about sharing it is easy to start posting photos of your latest vacation, important life events or even just basic information like a photo of your cat with its name tagged or a post about your favorite soccer team.
All of this data that we publish online can be a potential way that an individual can target you in the future. Publishing a photo of your cat could mean that you’ll be getting a slew of cat food advertisements. You could be seeing a number of trailers for a favorite TV show in the social feed.
What hackers do with this information is to start building up a profile of your identity from your lifestyle as well as the other publicly available information in your social media profile. Mining your page for a series of social clues can be one of the greatest techniques to discovering pertinent information like your password, recovery questions and more.
What information is most valuable to hackers on social media?
Social networks like LinkedIn can be one of the most popular places for hackers. Because many individuals are sharing items like detailed resumes or CVs, this can provide a slew of information that is extremely important to cracking passwords or even stealing your identity entirely.
A CV with a reference letter may include the names of your family members, special events in your life, past addresses, phone numbers and more. These are often all of the tools that someone with malicious intent would need to steal your identity or even access some of your accounts.
Using social media to market yourself also gives hackers access to a wide range of information from your contact info to some of the info that you would use to quickly recover an account or password. It’s good for the brand and personal marketing and your career and it’s also excellent for hackers that are seeking a wealth of information about you and one distilled profile.
High-quality photos are another area where many hackers are working to actually scrape data and use it for impersonation. This popular method in social hacking can be used to build photos of your likeness. AI technology can generate bodies and create fake images that are convincing using your likeness. A good quality headshot on your profile could be all that someone needs to create a convincing likeness of you for ID or for a wide range of nefarious reasons.
How identity theft and social media are well linked:
As we have found out from the Cambridge analytics case, social media is particularly useful for harvesting data and it often happens without consent. Finding a way into the backend of this information and even influencing choices can be done by a social network hacker easily.
Many people hacking social media accounts are able to steal data and money using profiling to quickly infect a user’s computer with malware or even work at stealing their identity.
As sites like Linkedin and Facebook who normally ask for comprehensive details from customers for job recruitment and connection, it doesn’t take long for a hacker to have an excellent profile of anyone who they could be tracking through social media.