How To Stay Safe From Hackers Targeting Social Media

A good number of my friends are on one or more social media sites, mostly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is just a small number of more than 1.6 billion social network users worldwide . This is a place where we spend most of our time getting in touch with our friends and families and even service providers.

This is precisely why cyber attackers love social media as well! Users that spend a lot of time on social networks are very likely to click links posted by trusted friends, which hackers use to their advantage.

Do you know that 90% of web attacks are delivered through advertising networks?

Ever received those pop up ads telling you that you’ve won a million shillings for doing nothing and that the only way to claim your prize is by clicking on the link given? Well, naturally we’d love to get money without moving a muscle and that’s why a good number of people fall for these scams. Or even worse you find your Facebook timeline full of pornographic material that you’re not aware of how it got there. Such stuff can really ruin someone’s reputation because some people who don’t understand these scams start judging you harshly by what they see on your timeline.

Here are some of the most popular types of cyber attacks directed at social media platforms:

Fake “Links”

Criminals use this to redirect one website’s links to another which hackers use to redirect users from trusted websites to malware infected websites that hide drive-by downloads or other types of infections. I accidentally clicked on one and my Facebook Timeline was filled with advise on how to loose wait and would automatically comment on my friends’ posts how I had lost several pounds in just a short period of time.

Take care because these links are now being sent via Watsapp.

Fake “Like” Buttons

Criminals post fake Facebook “like” buttons to web pages. Users who click the button don’t “like” the page, but instead download malware.

Social spam

This is unwanted spam content appearing on social networks and any website with user-generated content appearing in many forms, including bulk messages, profanity, insults, hate speech, malicious links, fraudulent reviews, fake friends, and personally identifiable information.


These scams attempt to trick recipients into responding to fraudulent email messages appearing to come from legitimate enterprises like your service provider, asking you to respond with your confidential personal information or directing you to a spoofed website.

1 in 10 social media users have been a victim of a cyber attack

Do This To Avoid Being A Victim Of Cyber Attacks

  1. Don’t give out your personal information publicly on social media sites
  2. Don’t click on any strange links.
  3. Use different passwords on your different social media accounts
  4. Be suspicious of any email message that asks you to enter or verify personal information, through a website or by replying to the message itself.




About the Author

Sharon Adisa
Sharon is a writer and editor who strives to continually further both the depth and breadth of her skills as a writer so as to contribute superior work and deliver client and customer satisfaction.