3 Signs of an Easy Victim on Social Media | Kent State University

3 Signs of an Easy Victim on Social Media

The world of social media has exploded in recent years, attracting corporate and individual users alike. While legitimate users enjoy the ability to stay connected with friends, family, and customers, criminals are using social media to identify potential targets. The culture of sharing cultivated on sites like Facebook and Twitter present valuable opportunities for cyber-criminals to spot victims and personalize attacks, increasing the probability that the attempt will succeed.

Check out the top 3 signs of an easy mark on social media to make sure you aren't one of them.

  • You have a lot of friends

A user with 400+ friends or followers likely does not actually know all of them personally, meaning they are much more likely to not only accept a friend request from a stranger, giving them access to all posts revealing behavioral patterns and personal information. Knowing what you talk about on social media can assist hackers in tailoring malicious links to your interests, increasing the likelihood that you’ll click on the link and give the hacker access to your device.

  • You haven’t enabled rigorous security settings

Not taking advantage of the privacy settings offered by social media providers gives strangers easy access to your detailed posts, and also indicates that you may be more open to providing other information through direct messages. Just a phone number or an email address can be combined with the information on your profile, such as your name or city of residence, to steal your identity. However, criminals may not even have to contact you at all if your profile is public--they can get all of the information they need by selecting your profile from a search engine.

  • You enable automatic location data for your posts

Thieves aren't always after your identity or financial information--your physical property is in high demand as well. Tagging your posts with your location or discussing detailed travel plans can give criminals a heads up on when you are out of town--and when your home is vulnerable.

For more details about how social media and cyber crime can affect you, check out the infographic from InstantCheckMate.