Phishing is unfortunately a common practice across various media. It involves luring people to click on links that will install malware on their device(s), or get them to share confidential information.
While many social media sites, such as Facebook, do their best to educate people about the dangers of phishing, it can be easy to be caught unawares.
For this reason, we have put together a simple checklist of five points to help you learn how to avoid social media phishing scams.
1. Look Out For Fake News
It can be difficult to discern true information from fake news online these days. Yet, there are certain things that you can look out for.
For example, on Facebook, phishing can take the form of political articles aimed to inspire or enrage, and, ultimately, engage unsuspecting users. Be sure to check the accuracy of any news link posted on social media before clicking on them or sharing any information.
2. Take Note Of Bots And Automated Accounts
Social media is a vast landscape of users. Some of which may appear to be real people but are in fact highly sophisticated bots. For this reason, it’s best to avoid engaging with bot accounts and people that you don’t know.
Some of the ways you can spot a bot account are if they have no original content but mainly reposts or retweets of other peoples’ posts, as well as irrelevant content. Also, look out for account names with unusual names or numbers.
3. Be Wary Of Ads
Before engaging with any kind of advertisement on social media networks, it’s wise to check out the page posting the advert first. You can do this by clicking on the ad and then the page that created it.
If the page that ran the ad looks suspicious, it’s best to avoid interacting with any future content posted by that particular page. While some messages might be difficult to ignore, it’s always safer to avoid any source of information that seems even slightly suspicious.
4. Don’t Click Any Links
It might seem like obvious advice, but when it comes to phishing, a lot of effort has gone into creating communication and messages that mimic legitimate companies and brands.
One of the key indicators of a potential phishing site is website URLs with lots of text and numbers in them and the use of popular brand names. While you might be tempted to trust the reputation of an existing brand, be 100% sure of the legitimacy of the link before clicking on anything.
5. Enable Account Filters
Since phishing is a problem across social media channels, networks like Twitter have set up filters you can use to help keep out any suspicious content or messages. These filters help you to find quality posts amongst all the bot posts.
In A Nutshell
While these scams are designed to be enticing, it’s always best not to engage if you’re not sure. Always verify the source or accuracy of any social media post before clicking anything. Reach out to one of our MicroAge locations for more information on how to avoid social media phishing scams and protect your company’s data.