Spam And Other Nasty Things On The Social Media Menu

Cybercrooks are using social media to spread their spam.

Everyone loves social media … even cybercrooks. Social media is becoming a tool for spammers who find their spamming efforts thwarted by email filters.

Jewelry designer Michelle Espinoza recently discovered just how awful social spamming can be, according to a recent San Francisco Chronicle article. Spammers targeted one of the images she posted of her jewelry on the social site Pinterest by making it link to pornography.

Social media also draws a substantial chunk of legitimate advertising, according to analyst BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast. Advertising spending through social media channels is expected to grow from $3.8 billion in 2011 to $9.8 billion in 2016. Of course, those pesky spammers and scammers aren’t helping things along, as they make it more difficult to tell the legitimate product and company information from the bad stuff that’ll give your computer something it doesn’t want!

Spam only one social media threat

The same tools designed for user convenience can be utilized by hackers to break into your account. If you’re not savvy about what you’re posting online and how you’re posting it, you could easily fall victim to a compromised social media account, or even a burglarized home!

For example, if your password security question on your favorite accounts is, “What is your mother’s maiden name,” a social hacker may be able to investigate your family to find out the answer.

A recent article from WREX, the Rockford, Illinois, NBC affiliate, highlighted the finer points of social media security, and identified how cyberthreats can transform into real-life threats. FBI agent Peter Traven highlighted location status updates as a major threat to personal security.

“The obvious downside to that is you’re posting hey we’re on vacation and I just checked in to Walt Disney World or some other kind of amusement park where you’re definitely out of state and if somebody wanted to commit some type of burglary situation they would probably be able to track you down or your home and realize that he or she is gone for a week because you put it on your social networking site,” Traven said.

How careful would you say you are with what you post on websites like Facebook? Do you use reveal your location?

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.