Phishing scams have been a problem for years. They are now starting to appear in social media. Many of the tactics are similar to those used in email phishing scams. You need to be vigilant and informed in order to avoid becoming the victim of identity theft or worse. There are five foolproof ways to thwart social media phishing.
Avoid Using Third-Party Apps
One of the first things you can do is to avoid using third-party apps to access your social media accounts. Some of these programs are convenient although they also hide important information. This can make it more difficult to tell whether a post is from a legitimate account or a spoofed account. Third-party apps also present security risks that are not present when using a website.
Never Follow Links in Posts
Many social media phishing scams rely on links to spoofed websites in order to collect your data. Never follow links in social media posts from unsolicited or unknown posts. If you suspect the post might be legitimate, then contact the institution independently using confirmed phone numbers or websites.
Educate Yourself about Internet Security
A little knowledge can help to thwart most social media phishing scams. You will want to get information from professionals. Taking a few online courses from Global Learning can show you how to protect your system and your identity from phishing posts right away. Education is the best defense against social media phishing tactics.
Never Download Files from Unsolicited Posts
Some phishing posts ask users to download a file explaining whatever supposed problem is occurring. These files can make changes to your computer, install key loggers or extract your personal information. You want to never download files from unsolicited or unknown posts. These files almost always contain malware or spyware.
Do Not Give Out Personal Information Online
A final step is to never give out your personal information through social media. Be certain to adjust your privacy settings so that phishers cannot see anything personal. Your bank or other institutions are not going to ask for account numbers or other data on social media. Refusing to provide any personal information will stop many phishing scams right away.
You need to scrutinize anything that is posted on social media claiming to be from a financial or other official institution. Most of these organizations will never use social media for customer service or private transactions. If a social media post seems suspicious, then ignore it in order to avoid phishing scams.