How Social Media Has Contributed to Spread of Cybercrime

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Social media has been there for more than a decade now. Website is the major influence of cyber space in the history at both the professional and personal level. Social media was started with aim factor of keeping in touch with friends and family, currently social media is wrongly used to mobilize other people for wrong reasons. In our 21st century the most popular networking sites are Facebook, Twitter, Orkut LinkedIn and Instagram. These websites are growing rapidly as more people are joining every day, leading to attraction of the cybercrimes. This has helped to bring terror among people through threat to privacy and nation security in general. In parts like India there has been 70% increase of cybercrime from 2013 to 2015. According to data analysis India has been ranked second in the list for most affected with cybercrimes. Today the attack has broadened up through cyber terrorism, use of celebrity photos to con people, hacking into people’s accounts and exposing their privacy. The salience of social media increases daily as the attacks grow to be effective, that it has become a topic that cannot be ignored anymore. As companies channel through development operations on digital transformation risks by employees and customers begin to emerge. Most social media sites have no means of identity verification which makes it hard when policing them. It has been concluded through studies that about 14% is a breach relating to social media that’s in account during 2016 and the percentage does not seem to be stagnant but growing rapidly.

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These days it is easy to monitor those using stolen information on Facebook through a quick search on credit card details which only takes minutes. Most networking sites tend to be very vigilant against such. The main thesis of this topic is to analyze the spread, effects and influence of social media and possible means of confronting such behavior among the websites. Common cybercrimes used in social mediaFirst to our most common category is malware, generally people from every corner of the country believe that virus is just clicking or downloading something from the internet. This was the case back then no contradiction on that but currently the method has evolved. Criminals are now making their own software with the malware to hack into victim’s online banks that reads username and passwords. People are now using worms, Trojan, bots, adware which come inform of advertisement, spyware which are used to log in to victim’s accounts. The safest and most common way to get rid of malware is by starting your computer in safe mode and running a good antivirus scanner. Another way of approaching this problem is by restoring your computer to an earlier state under settings in control panel. Sometimes the malware may persist and become a major problem which spread to the whole computer, the only option at hand is backing up all your important files, which are not affected and formatting the machine with new windows. Second category is reconnaissance. Social media has made it easy to know who works in which company, their friends, their social life, their private lives as it can easily be searched. Cybercrime is very easy in this sector, as planning attack will be based on a specific individual who has posted a lot of private information to the public on their profiles. If the target is a company it would still be easy to plan an attack by a single individual within the company based on their profile. After success on the individual it will be easy to attack the whole company when the machines are in the network through company profile. Most companies or organizations allow their employees to access the social media platforms where cybercrime is at high point of view therefore emerging to company risk. This has led to many companies falling down due to hacking or exposure of personal information to the public which maybe negative.

The company information can also be used to create fake accounts and impersonating public figure in the company to steal or run scam on people. The only best way to reduce and manage cybercrimes in this sector is by restricting employees from login into social media accounts using companies’ network. Individuals can reduce high risk to almost zero by avoiding to post their personal life on the internet rather use it for only interactions and professional use which can be online marketing on what they sell. Furthermore even if you are working at home but you have the company’s profile information public on your social account that won’t stop them from attacking as the public information is all they need. Thirdly is Brand hijacking, According to statistics brand name comprises of about 80% percent of what the business is selling. Brand hijacking can either break a business or promote a business if it’s not successful. Cyber criminals participate in brand hijacking by creating websites, pages and online communities to ruin the company’s reputation for their own personal gain. The criminals due to experience in the field they will create malicious links to this sites they have created and attach them to emails which can lead to reputation damage from negative comments from this clients. The type is very hard to avoid if you are not comfortable as they know employees and clients will have zero doubts in trusting them they have used similar information from the original content, therefore they won’t hesitate to open the emails attachments. Brand hijacking has become very common over the past few years and more and more people are lured as they can’t tell red flags to avoid. Fourthly malicious bots, this is one of the trendy topics at hand. The bots are often used by cyber criminals to distribute malicious content. Bots are designed in a way that they can generate fake retweets and fake like on Facebook, twitter and Instagram platforms.

Many of them are currently used for own selfish gain in the politics to create more publicity and have major influence. Today people are more attracted on what is in the market that means what most people are talking about. The bots are best weapons for publicity influence and creating a major attention among people. Given all the ways that social media can be used to attack your brand, digital risk require digital defense, how can organizations protect themselves? One way is to treat social media with the same level of scrutiny as other channels. Just as you teach your team about scanning email attachments before opening, reporting suspicious emails, and other security essentials, you also need to train your personnel about these common social media attacks. However, awareness, while important will not be able to stop all the attacks. It is important to have a coordinated social media and digital brand protection plan in place. We are in that level we can’t say we have solution at all, antivirus is not everything anymore is just a step one solution among many solutions at hand. Ransomware is among the most used by cyber criminals for profitable scams are payment is first used before any information can be retrieved or restored. Security software is now created with an aim of analyzing any odd behavior on the internet and handles it as threat. Bad guys produce malware while good guys produce protection; the best part in this case is that good guys are always ahead of the bad guys. Security software is useful to machines as they warn people before attempting to open some websites or downloading some documents. This has helped to monitor the good and risky websites to visit by 80%. Cybercrimes has been generating everywhere because they are difficult to track their activities, one of the reasons is due of lack of legal global documents for these activities and obtaining international legal cooperation is a very long process, secondly most companies that undergo these problems don’t collaborate with the cyber security investigation to fight to cybercrimes as they are always protecting their personal profile plus they never want to be seen as weak in the society or as if they are falling apart. Thirdly conducting the investigation may take days, weeks or even years depending on how serious the matter is. Cybercrime started when the number of users started increasing and people involving with online financial transactions. The study has it that cybercrimes have increased to 70% at current. This is because these platforms are free, easy to use, provide global reach.

These criminals operate in open they are not afraid of anything, they are even hacking kits from their own profiles and even sell and trade stolen credit card data. Today it’s very difficult to avoid the internet as it is everywhere as most things have been shifted to the internet like mobile banking. The criminals are at advantage because they can attack from any location and at any time they wish. Regardless of the size of the business nobody is immune to the attacks. It may only take one breach to lead to close down of a business that how effective cybercrime is. Some companies do not even recover as they are wiped out completely, you can imagine losing all your company data just by seconds that the company has created in years, where do you even start because it would be very hectic starting from zero when you are the talk in the town of how you company or business has been booming. In conclusion we should know that in cybercrimes we cannot control the end user not to click on the video links or emails attachments that comes with this malware but we can help educate them by all appropriate means to avoid such. Many people are deactivating their accounts after going through this experiences but they are forgetting that not the solution to cybercrime. Owners of Facebook and other platforms should monitor users keenly on any suspicious activities and block them before they influence others. People should be taught that the best way to avoid scams is by not paying on any services on social media before they receive what they inquired. Of late models have been highly conned by people who create their own pages and pretend to help models using public figures in the industries by telling them to pay registration money and clothes money to be used when performing adverts on them then they are blocked after payments. People fall in this trap because they don’t research before approaching or asking those with experience since they want easy money so they can show off to those with experience. Hence it is advised to protect user information and protect company data and running enterprise policies. Do not even share your passwords and username to your friends are family you may never know what happens when you stop talking to each other after an argument.

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