What’s Social Media Got to Do With It?

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month October 2019, Article by Laura Baker, Co-Founder CyberWyoming

Dr. Erik Huffman spoke at the Wyoming Cybersecurity Symposium on October 23 in Cheyenne.

Courtesy of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

In a recent interview with Dr. Erik Huffman, one of the only CyberPsychologists in the nation, he mentioned that the risk of being hacked goes up significantly the more active you are on social media. The video above shows how scary that can be. Many of us don’t realize exactly how much we are sharing on social media. Risk factors, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org) include using low or no privacy settings, accepting invitations from unfamiliar persons or contacts, downloading free apps for use on your profile, giving account details or passwords to people you know, participating in quizzes, clicking on links to other websites (even if the ink was sent to you by a friend), using out of date antivirus software, and not being aware that there are email scams out there asking you to update your social networking profile.

We may be aware of these risk factors, but how many of us know about onemilliontweetmap.com? Did you know you can drill down into the map and see actual tweets? It is a little disturbing. I took some screen prints on October 1 of the Cheyenne area and saw that one woman had posted that she was ‘done’ having babies. I’m sure she didn’t realize that anyone (and their dog) could see her post. While I didn’t take a screen print of that, below are some screen prints to show you how easy it is to follow people on social media.

Picture of Wyoming on October 1, 2019 – active tweeters on onemilliontweetmap.com
Drilling down into Cheyenne and seeing the tweet itself. Downtown Cheyenne. onemillinotweetmap.com

Some of the local to Wyoming scams I have heard about involve social media as well. You may have heard about the iTunes scam where you receive an email from someone you ‘know’ asking you to purchase iTunes cards. Well, one variant is when the hacker watches your boss’s or your company’s social media account to find out when the boss is at a conference. Then, the hacker spoofs your boss’s personal email address to ask you to purchase the iTunes cards for your company’s giveaways or booth. I have heard about this variant at least 8 times from all over the State of Wyoming.

So, to own this problem and make sure your employees are ready, below are some tips from StaySafeOnline, sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Own IT.

Never Click and Tell: staying safe on social media
Limit what information you post on social media – from personal addresses and vacation plans to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones and your physical belongings – both online and in the physical world.

Keep Tabs on Your Apps: best practices for device applications
Most connected devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved. These apps may be gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense and only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.

Update Privacy Settings Want to view or change your privacy/security settings, but don’t know where to find them? Use the direct links shared on NCSA’s manage your privacy tool to update your privacy settings on popular devices and online services.

If you want some more information to help train your employees, Norton has a great article with tips for protecting your social media privacy. You can follow this link to the Norton site.


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