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CYBER SECURITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Author: Paras Pare, III year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from National Law University, Delhi


Introduction

In the digital age, every economy, Governance and operational procedures rely on information-based solutions using computer networks. Various attacks and threats are designed to destroy these information solutions that are available through computer networks. In cyber technology, a threat is any event generating potential harm to sensitive information to demolish, disclose, or modify it. Moreover, the historical background of cyber threats and attacks has been very diverse and interesting. The first worm was detected in 1988 in the US which was largely used to affect and spread infrastructure.


Nowadays, especially considering the covid-19 pandemic, social media has become a significant part of our lives. We can communicate with people around the globe through social media by sharing audio, videos, texts and many other important things through the internet. Cyber security is needed to run life smoothly in using social networking over the internet. Now cyber security has become an important issue. Today, the internet is growing at a very fast pace and growing technology is becoming a very important part of our lives.


We are using different social networking sites and technologies which keep proving to us that they are safe and reliable, but the real picture is very different. There is no answer to how safe and secured our data and information are when we send it to other people. All that we can come up with is that cyber security is not 100% reliable and information can be stolen by cybercriminals. Therefore, cyber security becomes the main issue in everyday life.


Various cyber-crimes and social media threats

Cybercrime is the kind of crime in which the internet or computer network is used to commit the crime. According to a recent study, one out of ten people is now a victim of cybercrime. The increasing numbers are an indication of how large our lives are dependent on social media and new technologies. Here we discuss the topmost social media threats:

  • Phishing: These attacks are mostly carried out to steal money or get access to protected confidential information. The attackers use the vulnerability of the systems to install unwanted malware to trick users into parting with their money. Chances of success are more as it is a targeted attack.


  • Social Engineering: Today, a very famous threat for cyber attackers is social engineering. It enables them to find personal information about the users. They do this by accessing the information available about individuals online, by creating fake accounts and gaining users’ trust over time, influencing them to give out personal information about themselves.


  • Fake Bogus Accounts: Nowadays, most of the social media attacks happen when the fake accounts created have successful connections with various high profile institutes and government machinery.


  • Fake Celebrity profiles: today, this is one of the most popular cyber-attack. Hackers and criminals fake social media accounts in the name of a popular celebrity. They then use it to extract the personal information of individuals.


These are some of the most popular cyber threats and attacks in today’s world. However, apart from these, there are malware, dissemination spams and revelation of sensitive information which account for the topmost social media cyber attacks.


People's lives are becoming more entangled as a result of their online interactions. In this scenario, social media is the finest choice available on the internet for simple connections with people. Regrettably, it also provides possibilities for cybercriminals and internet dangers. Criminals in cyberspace attempt to contact social media users to target them for frauds, spam, and other sorts of assaults.


Initiation of attacks

Because prominent social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have millions of users. It is the ideal location for attackers to carry out their illegal operations. In general, when a person logs onto a website, he is exposed to numerous types of social media risks. When they attempt to download any website, URL, or picture, the spamming process is triggered. All of the aforementioned are published by criminals who already have accounts on these platforms. In addition, spam messages are also accountable for a large number of attacks happening online.


User comes across of attack

Most of the users are using different types of social media sites to post. In the same way, attackers and criminals use all these varied options to create different types of threats on social media. Some of the most commonly used sites are:

  • Facebook: Attackers and cybercriminals post on this which can be an attack. They post lots of interesting content and the users fall prey to it by clicking or opening such content. Another possibility is that some applications lead people to play games, add profile features, and enable more items. Essentially, anyone can create this type of product of applications and submissions that users can access. Other kinds of attacks also happen through the chat feature available.


  • Twitter: Twitter is a small blogging social networking site in which users can broadcast small posts known as tweets. Twitter for a reason only gives 140 characters to a user to post content/messages reconfirming that it is only meant for short messages. Cyber attackers are using this in their favour by posting malicious links. For instance, recharge coupons, employment and product advertisements, and many more. These sorts of promotional items make spamming simpler. The individual can post malware-related links on Twitter. It employs deception to promote phoney apps and backdoor applications. Twitter Worm also affects Windows.


  • Google: Google is also a social networking website that is essentially built to enhance and design user-internet interaction.


Affect of attacks on user

Malware, spam, phishing, and other assaults pose significant challenges for social media platforms that must remain profile and information about the user anonymous. The ultimate objective of social media is to allow another user to obtain information from another user and allow connectivity between several users as well. Regrettably, cybercriminals are reviewing this information of users who are publicly accessible, and It was used for targeted assaults. Most of the users are also under the impression that the personal data about them will not be used by the attackers and that they might not get any benefits out of it. Because of this misinformation, users cannot realize a lot of times that cybercriminals can get access to their personal information. Cybercriminals can quickly discover the path to further exploration information to gain access to anyone's account.


Prevention of attacks and threats on social media

Protection of user identity and data on social media from different kinds of threats and attacks is not easy. There are certain kinds of attacks that can be limited but at the very same time, there are various types of attacks that take place simultaneously. Although some ways can prevent attacks and threats on social media.


Some simple steps may be taken to prevent being a victim of social media threats. The user must recognize a fake message that seems to be real instructions from the demanding social networking website. When an individual user attempts to examine a profile online, he or she should keep in mind that everything visible on the page is not at all secure. Cyber thieves are continuously on the lookout for possibilities to attack any social media user and their information. There are always certain virtual areas where social media threats are waiting for you to do something silly.


In addition to this, the onus is on the users to make sure that they are taking enough measures to protect their data and privacy on social media. Aside from these precautions, When a genuine user posts data online and shares personal information, he or she must be aware of the sensitivity of the data as well as the confidentiality of the information. It is necessary not to reveal critical company information via private chat chats as well. It is only because if an account is hacked by a hacker, the hacker will have access to all of that individual's company information.


Conclusion

Social media has become a very significant part of people’s lives all around the globe. With the advancement in the role of technology and social media in our day to day lives, cyber security becomes an important issue. Various types of cyber threats and attacks put our privacy at peril. All we can conclude is that cyber security is not 100% secured and reliable resulting in the information and data being stolen from cybercriminals.


It is impossible to claim that hackers from all over the world are causing security breaches, but in reality, insiders are responsible for 80% of data theft. To create a pure security model for data protection, all companies must grasp the security mechanisms that are important to their business processes. The extent of security in various organizations to safeguard data loss from external and internal attackers, advanced-level security must be accomplished. All in all, cyber security relating to social media has a lot of staggering issues which need to be fixed to get better cyber access to users.


REFERENCES

1. Shantanu Ghosh,“top seven social media threats” 2011 available on https://www.computerweekly.com/tip/Top-seven-social-media-threats

2. Valerie RiaBoquiron,” Spam, Scams and Other Social Media Threats”2014, available on http://www.trendmicro. com

HardikGohel,” Looking back at the evolution of the Internet”,

1. available on CSI Communications – Knowledge Digest for IT Community, 2014

2. Graham Cluley, “Malware and Spam rise 70% on social networks, security report reveals” 2010, Sophon press release http://www.sophos.com

3. Ibrahim Y, “The new risk communities: social networking sites and risk” 2008 Int J Media Cult Polit 4(2):245– 253