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The biggest social media security threats of 2015

09 Jan 15

Bitdefender, security software solutions provider, has released its social media security threat predictions for 2015.

In the past year Bitdefender security researchers have studied social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to forecast trends for individuals and companies with BYOD policies.

Mobile ransomware could hit social networks, says Bitdefender, and users should remain skeptical of any message accusing them of crimes as it may be part of ransomware campaigns.

Be wary of trojans hiding behind ‘shocking’ videos, says Bitdefender, as malicious links in Facebook videos will more common this year. A two-year study showed videos such as ‘beheading and murder’ account for almost 1% of social media scams.

LinkedIn will be the social media site of choice for work-at-home scams. Bitdefender says these scams will target job seekers and promise large salaries for working from home. Bitdefender advises users to look for poorly completed profiles and suspicious looking recruiters.

According to Bitdefender, social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook will be used to spread scams based on search interest, such as celebrity deaths.

“Google’s recent list of top searches coincided with some of the most popular scams this year, indicating this trend is alive and well,” says Catalin Cosoi, Bitdefender chief security strategist.

“While in 2013, people just wanted to know how to twerk, this year [2014] brought more interest in topics such as Ebola, Robin William’s death, the World Cup and Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Scammers used all these searches to target high numbers of victims on Facebook, Twitter and via traditional e-mail spam,” says Cosoi.

Bitdefender research shows already almost one in three advertising networks is malicious, and malvertising is on the rise, with sites such as Facebook hosting fraudulent and malicious ads.

In order to combat these threats, Bitdefender advises users to keep security solutions updated on every internet connected device, avoid signing in from unsecure hotspots and report suspicious social media activities.

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