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“Social Media Security: 6 Hacking Tricks You Never Thought You’d Fall For” Infographic

The subheading reads: You’ve seen all the headlines and heard all the warnings—hackers are everywhere. But you’re no dummy! You’d never fall for their spammy pop-ups or fishy emails. But did you know that those sneaky cyber criminals are also lurking within your favorite social networks? Be on the lookout for these 6 sneaky social media security attacks.

Toward the top is an animation of someone clicking on a mouse, presumably opening an email and then finding out that the email was spam.

Beneath that, there is an animation with someone making the shushing gesture that also reads: “You’ll Never Believe What People Are Saying About You!” To the right of that is the heading, “Like-Jacking.” The text reads: The “like” button is everywhere on Facebook, making it a no-brainer for hackers to manipulate. Hackers will create content that lures users into clicking the “Like” button to receive a reward. This content ranges from sensationalist headlines to images of sick children with the promise that Facebook will donate money for every “Like.” But as soon as you click that “Like” button, hackers unleash viruses onto your account.

Scrolling down, we see “Click-Jacking.” The text reads: Similar to like-jacking, click-jacking lures social media users of multiple platforms away from a secure site and onto an infected site. Clicking the link means you’re not only downloading malware onto your device, but your hacked social media account also blasts the link out to all of your friends, spreading the virus. The animation to the right shows a woman who presumably clicked on an infected site and is frantically trying to escape from it while the virus spreads.

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Further down is social engineering. This social media threat is different in that hackers directly manipulate users into giving up sensitive information—it’s more of a trap than a direct attack. An example is baiting: Hackers may offer a download of the latest music or movie. And not all of it is free—they may coax you with the promise of cheaper products, which requires your credit card and billing information. Remember: If something seems too good to be true, then it’s probably not worth the risk. The animation shows an eager consumer rushing toward some music, underneath a trap activated by a string, which is held by a thief waiting to trap the user.

Below that is self-XSS attacks. Self-cross-site scripting attacks are a form of social engineering. Hackers lure Facebook users to copy and paste a web address in their browsers. People fall for this because they are promised rewards such as gaining access to other Facebook accounts or winning money. But attempting to do this unleashes a malicious bug, which then compromises the user’s own account. The animation next to this shows two bags of money with its contents increasing and decreasing.

Following that is spear phishing. Spear phishing is targeted phishing, meaning hackers select a person or group and gather as much information about them as possible. Using that information, hackers then communicate with victims, pretending to be someone the victim trusts. On social media, you may see this through the creation of fake accounts. Hackers will commonly create false profiles that mimic important officials or other people victims may know, and eventually attempt to solicit money from the unsuspecting users. The animation with this shows a thief sitting on a dock with a fishing pole, trying to lure a user toward their  bait with “Help!” on it. The consumer looks perplexed and confused about the situation.

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Finally, there’s Facebook scams. From finding out your soulmate to discovering which Harry Potter character you are, there’s an online quiz out there for just about everything. These quizzes trick users into divulging personal information. Hackers then manipulate their victims into giving up addresses, their mothers’ maiden names, salary information, birthdates and much more. This seemingly harmless hack can eventually lead to identity theft. The animation alongside this shows two different quizzes: “Which Harry Potter Character Are You? Find Out Now” and “Who Is Your Soulmate? Click below to find out! Find Out Now.”

Below that, a summary says: Outsmart the scammers. Now that you’re aware of their secrets, you can step up your social media security game to protect against hackers. Share this on your social media accounts to ensure your friends and family don’t fall for their tricks. An animation of a padlock snapping shut is shown.



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