Since 2017, cryptomining malware has exploded on a global scale, with over half of the identified strains found on social media sites. Utilizing apps, advertisements, and malicious links, cybercriminals were able to deliver these attacks and earn $250 million per year. Not only are social media platforms being used to distribute cryptomining malware, but they are also used as a major source for spreading other types of malware – malvertisments, faulty plug-ins, and apps – that draw users in by offering “too good to be true” deals. Once clicked on, the malware attacks. From there, cybercriminals can obtain data, establish keyloggers, dispense ransomware, and lurk in the shadows of social media accounts in wait for the next opportunity.
That next opportunity could also be on a completely different social media platform. As these sites unknowingly make it easier for malware to spread from one site to another. Many social media accounts interconnect with one another across platforms, which enables “chain exploitation,” or where malware can jump from one account to the next.
In short, social media is a cash cow for cybercriminals, and they are showing no sign of slowing down. What it really comes down to is social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, attract a significant number of users and are going to draw in a criminal component too. However, if you take the proper security precautions ahead of time, you can fight off bad actors and continuously scroll with confidence. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Limit the amount of personal information shared in the first place. Avoid posting home addresses, full birth dates, and employer information, as well as exact location details of where you are.
- Be wary of messages and follow requests from strangers. Avoid clicking on links sent by someone you don’t know personally.
- Report any spam posts or messages you encounter to the social media platform. Then they can stop the threat from spreading to other accounts.
- Always use comprehensive security software. To help protect you from viruses, spyware, and other digital threats that may emerge from social media sites, consider McAfee Total Protection or McAfee Mobile Security.
Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security trends and information?
- Take our quiz on best practices on how to stay secure on social media
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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/consumer/mobile-and-iot-security/social-media-where-cybercrime-lurks-in-the-shadows/