What Hackers Love About Viral Social Media Trends

Social media trends appear to be nothing but harmless fun. When you share an old picture of you at school, you’re highlighting how far you’ve come from a young kid with bangs and terrible taste in fashion! There’s nothing wrong with interacting online and doing the things that make you happy.

Mostly, you’re right. However, as an IT company in Phoenix with extensive knowledge of hackers and the practices, we understand the dangers of participating in “harmless” fun. In reality, what looks insignificant can be essential to hackers who are trying to steal sensitive information.

Everybody has to get to grips with the importance of data in the 21st-century as one small error can lead to life-changing consequences. Although it sounds far-fetched, some social media challenges can expose personal info that hackers use against you and your family, whether you realize it or not.

What Is Valuable Personal Information?

To you, it’s your credit card data and national security number. To a hacker, it’s as basic as your address, phone number, and email account. Even worse, they love the stuff that you may be happy to hand out online, such as:

  • Your Mother’s maiden name
  • Your first pet’s name
  • Your favorite teacher
  • The first place you ever lived

Do these facts seem familiar? They are the types of questions often used as backup security questions for online banking. Giving out this data makes it that much easier for hackers to bypass your security and hijack your bank account. What’s worse is that you may not even know it’s happened until it’s too late.

If they can’t do the above, they’ll attempt to run a scam via phishing emails that encourage you to input your details on fake sites that appear genuine.

Which Trending Social Media Challenges Are Problematic?

Almost all of them. The issue is that social media platforms ask you to share information because it’s vital to their business strategy. As a result, you could put your finances at risk just by posting a picture. 

Take the senior picture challenge for instance. What appears harmless actually reveals your age, where you went to school, when you graduated, and the mascot’s name. Although images don’t seem as bad, they are one of the worst ways to publish your data to the world as you don’t have to mention your school’s name – memorabilia can give it away.

Here are different variations of social media challenges to watch out for:

  • Sharing info of current best friend or childhood friend
  • Images of your first pet 
  • Details of your favorite or first concert
  • Favorite restaurants
  • Memories of your favorite teachers
  • Details of your first car

If your password retrieval for any of your accounts relies on info linked to these answers, you shouldn’t post them on public sites.

How To Protect Against Cyber Attacks

Reading about how little mistakes can lead to big side-effects is alarming. It makes it appear as if you have to be flawless with your social media and digital presence. Thankfully, it’s not the case. With a handful of straightforward hacks, you will lower your vulnerability. Here’s what you need to do.

Change Your Settings

Only 45% of all social media accounts in the US are fully protected. In comparison, 19% are public and open to anybody with an internet connection and a social media profile. But it’s not hard to change that in your settings. By going to your account, you can decide who can view your accounts, such as your friends and followers. That way, if you’re selective with who you accept, your data should be safe.

Keep Info Limited

You want to have enough info online for businesses and people to contact you, so limit the type of contact info you put on the internet. For example, you may prefer to highlight an email account rather than a phone number, or vice versa. Your company’s premises aren’t necessary. With this trick, hackers are not likely to find the required data to infiltrate your servers.

What If They Get Your Password?

Again, there’s no need to panic. Multi-factor authentication has developed to the point where the FBI now recommends it as a security measure. It’s a more secure method that asks you to provide multiple sources of information when logging in. As a result, it makes it harder for hackers who may only have one or two pieces of data.

For more information and an IT company in Phoenix you can trust, don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated team member.