WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ)
The number of people using social media continues to rise among all age groups in Texoma and across the country. With that comes a rise in cybercrime as criminals are devising new ways to steal information from your social media accounts.
Experts say it’s important to be vigilant about social media security because the cons are getting more and more sophisticated.
Posting and sharing pretty pictures on instagram is fun - what could go wrong? Well, the latest instagram scam to beware of is known as the Ugly List.
“The Better Business Bureau has had reports from consumers who have seen a post on Instagram - and you're being tagged in the post - saying you have been added to the Ugly List. Basically, it's just one ploy that the scammers use to try to trick you into clicking on something and compromising your account.”
In the Ugly List notification there's a link to see the full post. If you click on it you'll get to an Instagram log in. That's when you have a problem. The log in form is fake and when you enter your user name and password you've just handed them over to a hacker.
“They can obviously impersonate you and take over your account. Once they have one password if you use the same password for other systems they can get into those as well.”
Once they hack your social media accounts they will begin to steal information from your friends.
Be careful posting complaints about your bank, credit card or any business on Facebook.
There's a fraudulent customer service scam going on. Your complaint may get a response from a concerned customer service representative who is really a hacker. The scammers set up fake accounts that look like they're from the company you complained about. You think you're being helped - but they’re trying to get your I.D. and password.
Whether it's Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or any other social media platform, experts say the first line of defense is protecting your log in.
“The crooks will ask you to log into your social media account. That should raise a red flag if you’re asked to log into your social media account when you're already logged in.”
You also need to protect your password.
“Just make sure you don't provide your password in any way, shape or form - especially from emails.”
Choose your passwords wisely. According to experts, it takes only 10 minutes for a hacker to crack a lowercase password that is six characters long. Add two extra letters and a few uppercase letters and it will take them an average of three years to crack.
MacTech Solutions in Wichita Falls offers classes on how to manage passwords and can help if you've been hacked on social media.
As cybercriminal scams get more sophisticated, those on social media need to be more vigilant.
“There is no one that is above being scammed in this form or fashion. We are seeing victims from all ages - victims who use the internet in all different capacities. Everyone is susceptible to being scammed these days.”