Many business owners, managers and other leaders pay little attention to the potential risks that social media poses. Earlier this week, Simon Rowe for Independent.ie outlined the various ways that social and work-social media accounts can help criminals target business leaders and employees and commit acts of fraud.
The most common scenario involves thieves mining platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for identifying data. In one scenario, a thief steals a supervisor’s or vendor’s data and then uses the information to pretend to be that person and convince a subordinate employee or another supervisor via email to perform some action that benefits the thief like sending money to the thief’s location of choice. Some thieves use salary and income data to take out credit cards and loans in the name of someone who likely has good credit.
Social and work-social media poses another problem that Rowe does not mention: A thief who finds enough data to pretend to be a company’s senior officer can ask another leader via email, tweet, chat or other communication method to provide an update about a closely guarded project that the thief recently heard about offline or online in a news piece. The thief then sells this proprietary information to a company’s competitors or releases it on the internet to ruin a company’s reputation.
Experts recommend that business leaders train every person who works in their company to know the signs of these types of scams. They also recommend that leaders hire security experts to look for identifying information in social media posts. Some companies even have a strict policy of hiring security experts to remove identifying information from posts.