Weaponized Social Media Cyber Attacks Predicted in the US & Elsewhere in 2022
By Geetha RPublished On December 1, 2021
Around 4.55 billion users are active on social media today, equating to 57.6 % of the global population. We all are obsessed with social media sites. Our every moment, every celebration are framed on this digital gallery. But, how do you protect this virtual gallery? Because these sites are prone to social media cyber attacks, and some hackers always have an evil eye on your social media profile.
Despite the numerous strategies and efforts, still many users mistakably fall under this trap. These attacks have caused disruptions in the USA, resulting in Joe Biden, US President, requesting the IT firms and other enterprises to prioritize cyber security first. He had several discussions with the world leaders to handle this situation properly and exchanged intelligence on cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals have now planning to weaponize social media. Now they are looking for ways to attack social media users. And they are focusing on the youth to spread propaganda among them.
According to Andy Ozment, head of the Cybersecurity Directorate at DHS, “Nation-state actors and their proxies are conducting cyber operations against corporations, critical infrastructure entities, universities and other organizations in furtherance of their geopolitical objectives.” He also mentioned that the threat actors use multiple techniques to hide their attribution, including compromised servers. They are also considering changing their tactics to move away from traditional security defenses.
So, what can you do? You don’t have control over these sites, or you can’t avoid them. But you must not panic. Here are several ways that we can follow at our end and keep cyberattacks at bay.
1. Keep your security settings updated
Always remember, the attackers are targeting you, so keeping your security settings updated is a must. These sites have an automatic update system, but you sometimes need to update it manually to get all the latest features and protections.
2. Use a password manager
Using the same password, again and again, is like asking for trouble. Now use a password manager tool, it will generate random passwords for different sites, and you have to remember only one master password. The best part is that that software stores your passwords encrypted, so even if someone steals your laptop, they won’t be able to see them.
3. Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access social media sites
Many times you are forced to use Public Wi-Fi to get the work done. But, never access or login your social media accounts when it is connected to a non-secure network or any other possible threat source like an infected computer or smartphone.
3. Limit who you share information with
They are looking for your personal information to steal your identity, spread propaganda among the youth, and attack critical infrastructure. So always ask yourself before posting anything on social media sites.
4. Avoid posting pictures with GPS location
The attackers are using many ways to target you online, so never surrender your privacy. Delete the location information from the images you share on social media sites, especially when captured using a smartphone. Because even if you have location services turned off on your device, some malware can capture your GPS information without you knowing it.
5. Report any suspicious activity to authorities
If you see anything suspicious on your social media account, report it to the service provider immediately. And if you are getting any disturbing messages, then block that user or group for additional privacy.
To protect yourself from spam and phishing scams, be careful about strangers in the chat. Never reply to anyone in public chat groups unless you know who they are.
6. Use secure messaging services
Use end-to-end encryption technology to protect your messages. You can continue using social media sites but use a VPN service and encrypted chat software like Telegram Messenger, WhatsApp, Signal, etc.
7. Watch out for unusual app downloads
If you receive any suspicious link or notice an unsolicited download on your device, then delete it immediately. The attackers are trying to trick you by sending Phishing emails and malicious links that will take you to a compromised website or app store where they can steal credentials and infect your device.
8. Disable automated updates
The attackers target outdated social media apps, so always keep your devices and software updated. Social media sites are pushing out automatic updates for new features, bug fixes, and security patches. But never approve an update unless you know what is changing in the application.
9. Limit which apps can access your account
Many social media apps allow third-party apps to connect with their platform, but this will enable attackers to gain the permissions they need to steal your personal information. So whenever you download any app, always read their licenses carefully and deny access to any suspicious apps.
10. Enable two-factor authentication
This will add an extra layer of protection when you log in from a new device. The service sends a unique code to your smartphone to confirm your identity before you can access the account, so only the people who have the correct login information and physical access to that specific device will be able to access an account.
11. Check privacy settings regularly
Many times users don’t take privacy as a serious topic, but you should always check out the privacy policies of any social media site or app before using it. Make sure that they aren’t trying to violate your privacy.
12. Avoid using public computers
When you’re at the library, airport, or any other public place where people can easily sneak into your session without your knowledge, then always use a privacy screen. This will block everyone from seeing what you are doing on the device.
Social media sites are the easiest way to communicate with people around the globe, but they become a target of cybercriminals and hackers for several reasons. But if you follow these simple steps, you can avoid most social media threats caused by malware and phishing attacks.
So, keep yourself prepared in 2022 with complete privacy. We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any other additional tips, mention them in the comment section below.