Many people across the United States are now settled into their “stay at home” routine, which includes working remotely, catching up on those home improvement projects, and scrolling through social media. Attackers are well aware of the increase in online communication and social media use during the pandemic, and they’re taking note of what everyone is writing down.
Dangerous Social Media Trends
Of late there has been an online movement to share high school graduation pictures in “support of the class of 2020”. While this might be a nice gesture, people are giving away information that is critical to their online security. Typical security questions when creating an account include where someone attended high school, what their high school mascot was, or what year they graduated. Combine this new information with other common profile details such as name, birthdays, and current town, and suddenly an attacker has quite a bit of insight into a person’s life.
There have also been several online “quizzes” and “challenges” that ask a series of questions. Typically, most people view these as fun and harmless, but as the BBB warns, they often can seriously compromise your online security. These challenges can ask questions such as “What was your maiden name?” or “What was the street you grew up on?” Just like sharing the high school graduation photos above, these answers typically give out critical information commonly used in account recovery questions.
While it might seem like a burden to consider cybersecurity in the midst of everything else going on in the world right now, it’s more important than ever. Social engineers are scam artists willing to exploit the current uncertainty in the world. It’s important to keep basic cybersecurity practices in mind such as thinking before clicking, locking down social media posts, and using strong passwords.