Threats to your social network aren’t new, but the frequency and cleverness of attacks and the cost of repairs make it vital to keep your awareness fresh and defenses strong. Reacting to a breach can require far more time, effort and cost than preventing one.
Attacks come from:
- Viruses & Malware – Relies on users to share malicious links with their contacts, then replicates itself to other devices
- Ransomware – Encrypts user data demanding payment to unlock it
- Phishing – Impersonates social contacts to encourage execution of malicious code
- Spamming – Sends out numerous emails resulting in blacklisting
- Identity Theft – Gathering personal information from social networks, attackers assume your identity or the identity of your contacts
- Apps – Games, puzzles and quizzes can be given access to your profile and contacts and subsystems of your device (e.g. location, camera, microphone) without your knowledge
- CEO Fraud – Impersonates company executives and key employees so that lower level employees open emails, links and attachments
Visualize social network security like layers of an onion. Your network firewall is your first line of defense, scanning inbound and outbound internet traffic, filtering content and detecting intruders. An email spam filter scans and quarantines suspect inbound and outbound messages. Endpoint protection keeps malicious code from entering and running on devices we use, which includes computers, tablets and smart phones.
Inspect the privacy and security settings on your devices and in your email and social accounts, and use strong settings when available. Avoid installing new third-party applications from unknown vendors, and limit their access with your privacy and security settings. Limit the amount of personal information you post to sites, remembering that your posts will last a long time. And share with friends, but limit automatic sharing with “friends of friends”. For those being especially targeted, most email providers offer Advanced Threat Protection for a few dollars per month per user.
The most effective protection is you, a vital link in the “human firewall”. Look before you click, think before you open, verify before you trust. In your email client windows, look over the sender’s email address and subject, and preview the message before opening it or picking any links or attachments. If something feels amiss, it probably is. Right click on the message and move it to “Junk” (spam) folder.
Contact us to schedule a free phishing security test of your employees, followed by our IT Security for the Common Worker lunch-n-learn workshop. There is no cost for either, other than several hours of labor to deliver these services.
Your Technology Partner,