Terry Cutler – The Ethical Hacker
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Staying safe over the holidays

The holiday season is a time of rest, family and celebration. Be on the lookout for the typical signs of being hacked. Here are my holiday reminders.


It is called social media phishing when a hacker emails you impersonating a reputable social media site. Hackers insist you have an urgent “account issue” waiting for you to fix, along with a specific clickable link to begin resolution. These URLs frequently drive users to fraudulent websites, which will contain malware. 


Malware is one of the most severe problems in social media, as hackers often use it to launch cyberattacks. Hackers can use various software, such as viruses, worms, adware, spyware, and Trojan horses, to access your social media accounts.  


Social media companies do protect their users’ profile data effectively. However, it’s up to you to ensure you do not submit material you do not wish to publish. As a general guideline, do not include email addresses, mobile phone numbers, or brick-and-mortar addresses in your profile bio. 


A sophisticated social media threat and hacking tactic is clickjacking (hijacking clicks). Clickjacking alters the buttons you usually click or like on social media sites. On social media, hackers can automate pages so that posts are automatically shared on your profile and installed on your device.

Identity theft 

You can become a victim if you are not careful about the personal information you provide on your social media profiles. Profile bios and account details of others are at risk of being compromised. 

A hacker can then use many people’s data to compile information, clone your ID or create a new one so that they can open a bank account or get a loan—in your name. Second, you will become a victim of credit card and financial fraud. 

Affiliate Scams 

Social media hackers can increase their income through affiliate scams. They provide stolen credentials to other companies to increase website traffic. They post fake ads with malicious links on Facebook and Instagram. Clicking on it may redirect you to shady websites that ask for your personal information to register for promotions.

Fake giveaways 

A fake giveaway scam impersonates well-known companies and organizations and promotes bogus contests and prizes to lure visitors to infected websites. If you visit their website, they may use malware to collect your bank account details, emails, and other personal information to misuse them further. 

Invented followers 

The follower count is the source of your pride on social media. However, the higher these numbers are, the more likely you will get fake followers. Hackers sometimes create these fake profiles to phish their targets on social media.

Be safe over the holidays

Follow cyber-safe best practices over the holidays, like monitoring and avoidance, and you will help yourself and your family protect against all scams. Remember, we are here at https://www.cyologylabs.com

To learn more about consumer concerns, you can download our mobile app, FRAUDSTER, available on Apple and Android. You can learn more at www.FraudsterApp.com

If you’ve already downloaded the FraudsterApp, click the training icon on the home screen to learn to protect yourself.

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