How Social Media Accounts Get Hacked

Tuesday, April 17, 2018/Categories: Tech Tips & Gadgets

With the widespread use of social accounts, many victims will fall prey to scammers and hackers who gain access with malicious intent. Social media users have become accustomed to not only posting personal information on social media accounts, but some also use integrated features to conduct financial transactions.

The plethora of data available on social media accounts is attractive to hackers and scammers for a variety of reasons. The University of Phoenix report that 2/3 of all U.S. adults with social media accounts have already been hacked.

Why – and how – do social media accounts get hacked? Here are a few explanations.

Hackers Access Your Private Information

Your social media accounts share information about who you are, where you go, and what you do on a daily basis. Facebook users can post details about where they live, work, and who they know, as well as personal photos. They can even send money to friends. However, this level of detail can pose a threat when it ends up in the wrong hands. The New York Post published an article in 2015 which estimated that approximately 160,000 Facebook accounts are compromised per day.

Privacy can also be compromised if the hackers have intent to expose your personal affects. A recent Instagram hack gave the hackers access to personal photos after naked pictures of Justin Bieber appeared on the Instagram account of Selena Gomez. This hack had a significant impact because at the time it occurred, Selena Gomez had over 125 million followers subscribing to her Instagram posts.

In addition, sharing pictures on social media gives hackers the chance to learn every online movement of their victims. Posts usually include where and when you have taken a picture. Hackers can learn where you are and what you do within minutes. Are you out of town? Hackers may think this is a good time to break in. Maybe you made a recent trip to your bank? Now the hacker knows where you bank, which can make you a target for financial scams.

Hackers Create Social Media Apps to Siphon Info

Another way hackers can leverage social media accounts maliciously is by creating apps that are intended to collect your information. Social media users often download third-party apps that integrate with social media accounts. However, some of these apps are created and used by scammers with dishonest intentions. Even if the application asks to access the user’s profile and the user gives consent, social media users may have unknowingly put their information at risk. In some cases, you may have unknowingly delegitimized your privacy and made your information vulnerable to the wrong people.

Hackers Hide Cyber Attacks in Social Media Posts

Pentagon officials are increasingly worried that state-backed hackers are using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to break into Defense Department computer networks. According to The New York Times, it took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. A link, attached to a Twitter post put out by a robot account, promised a family-friendly vacation package for the summer. Once one person is compromised, attacks can move quickly through that person’s friend network, leading to what officials described as a nightmare situation in which entire departments at the Pentagon could be targeted.

Hackers Pretend to be You

Social media can be a segue to allow hackers to obtain your banking information and use your personal information to impersonate you. Social media users perform purchasing activity with retailers, restaurants, or services are also at risk. Hackers can obtain access to your browsing and shopping history, which gives them insight into where they can go to make purchases as if they were you.

In addition, when a hacker inherits access to your social media accounts, they can read your private messages and gain access to all your contacts. This level of intimate viewing of your personal correspondence makes your friends and family an easy target. Consider that a hacker with this level of access can message your contacts and ask for money. Herein lies the potential for scammers to steal money from those you care about.

Comments (0)

Tags: