This month is Cyber Security Awareness Month and this week, Cleveland Police’s Cyber Crime Team are discussing hacking …
The biggest cyber crime risk to individuals is having social media accounts hacked. Hundreds of reports are reported nationally every month and often include the below examples:
Someone contacting a victim and telling them they have won a competition. To claim the prize, they need to add an email/telephone number to their account. This then enables the attacker to change the password and remove the victim’s details to lock them out of their account.
Some social media messages often appear as though they are from a ‘friend’ and contain a link to follow. This may be to vote for them or help them recover their account or similar (victims later find out that their friend had also been hacked).
Compromised passwords are a big factor in victims being hacked. This could be because the victim’s password is easy to guess or because their information was stolen in a data breach.
Once a victim’s social media account is taken over, the attacker will firstly secure it so it can no longer be accessed. They will then start using the account to try and scam the victim’s contacts.
Victims not only lose access to their social media but also to photos and memories that they have stored on there.
It is important that people follow the below pointers to keep their social media accounts safe to prevent them from being hacked:
Use solid and original passwords and make sure every password is individual.
Use a password manager which will allow you to store all your unique and induvial passwords. Make sure you find a secure password manager before you use it.
Allow two-factor authentication across your accounts – this means that your account will require extra verification like a fingerprint or passcode in addition to a password.
Avoid logging into your social accounts on unprotected or public devices.
Modify your passwords regularly and ensure you update your password manager to ensure you don’t forget them.
Ignore suspicious links and ads – especially from family members or friends as they may have been hacked.
Enable login notifications on your social accounts as they will alert you if there is any suspicious activity on your accounts.