The Dangers Of Social Media: It’s All Free Stuff And Sex

Social media has exploded in popularity as a business tool. There are heaps of reasons. Think of Best Buy and Old Spice just to name a few. Facebook alone has over 800,000,000 reasons to share. But while companies are encouraging their staff to be more social, do they realize the dangers they face?

Did you know that 85% of all malware infections come from the web? Not too surprising. But here’s the kicker. Out of those successful attacks, one third of all business infections come from social media platforms. We’ve seen the headlines. From Southwest Airline tickets to free iPads to free Costco gift cards, there number of scams is overwhelming. And then there’s the other kind. They go something like this: find out how this guy got revenge on his ex-girlfriend when he caught her cheating…

Even though there are many sites dedicated to sharing the latest scams to help protect users from quick thinking cybercriminals, new victims are caught daily. From simple survey scams to stealing login credentials to installing malware on your machine, the bad guys are stilling hitting the jackpot. And if this wasn’t bad enough, social networking sites make distributing malicious links a piece of cake.

Why are users still falling for it? Well the answer is simple. “Free stuff and sex,” said Bimal Parmar, VP of marketing at Faronics, “always attract people to click on the accompanying link.” And the fact that our social networks are mostly made up of our friends makes the problem worse. Sure the term friend is being used very loosely. But the premise remains unchanged. We inherently trust the people in our social networks.

What’s a company to do? Well banning social media isn’t really an option. Educating employees is a great place to start. Try a social media policy and providing education about Internet threats. Applying the latest patches is critical and building a solid endpoint security system is a must that combines blacklisting and whitelisting technology.

Samantha Shah

As a secret nerd, Samantha keeps close tabs on trends, threats, and headlines in IT security to keep you safe from the bad guys. She believes knowledge is power, so Samantha is always on the lookout for new ideas, tips, and best practices to challenge convention and inspire change.