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Social Media, Brute Force Attacks, Passwords, Fake WAPs & Protecting Yourself

The video above shows a hack of Gmail, but your social media accounts can be just as vulnerable if you choose a common password like:

  • Password
  • 12345
  • QWERTY
  • iloveyou

Social media accounts are online assets, which no matter how big you build them, can still be a liability. This liability comes from how they can be exploited by hackers, especially when you do not take the proper steps to protect them.

You need to put as much effort into protecting your online assets as you do building them. You don’t need an entire IT team to do this, keep reading to learn the basics of what you need to do.

Defeat brute force hacks with better passwords

One of the most brainless hacks out there is known as a brute force hack. I hacker simply sets up a tool to target a specific account and the tool guesses passwords until it is right. You may know these tools as password recovery tools. They have be altered by hackers for nefarious purposes.

You have to defend against brute force hacks with better passwords that are complicated and use a mix of characters.

Fake WAPs: Use a variety of passwords

Let’s say that you took my advice above when you created a password that is “35IrulePLANETearthb1tches!” Good job, but now you have to come up with the new password for each of your social media accounts. This is important because of something known as the fake WAP. This is when a hacker will set up a free Wi-Fi network in a public location. They will then use the network to steal things like passwords.

Your first line of defense should be a good password manager. You can create a very strong password to get into the password manager, and then it could manage a wide variety of strong passwords for you. Good examples include:

Each one is going to help you protect your accounts by using a wide variety of passwords to defend against the fake WAP hack. Even if they do get one password to one of your social media accounts they won’t necessarily get access to all of your other accounts.

Secondary defense against fake WAP

Last failsafe to protect yourself against a fake WAP involves encryption. The problem with the fake WAP is the hacker will set up a hot spot that has no encryption on it. This means that they can see the following in plain text:

  • Confidential information that you send over your social media through private messages.
  • Any customer contact details that you sent back and forth.
  • Brand strategies discussed between related accounts.
  • Any credit card numbers that customers send through there.

The way that you are going to encrypt every single thing that you send over a hotspot, including your social media, is with a VPN with strong encryption. These tools are perfect for this job as they encrypt everything that is transferred to and from your device. All you have to do is connect to the VPN server and that takes care of your encryption, and your social media data.

Do your best against insider threats

Insider threats, especially recently fired employees that still have your social media, are very real. There have been a number of times when staff and being fired but they’re access to the social media has not been removed. The most embarrassing has probably been HMV.

 Here are ways that you can defend against this insider threat:

  • Make a record of all accounts that employees have access to.
  • Have plans in place to remove people from all accounts before they’re fired. Make sure a specific person is assigned to this.
  • If you have multiple accounts that multiple employees are given access to, it may be smart to consolidate these in one social media dashboard. You can use things like HootSuite, SocialFlow, or BufferApp.

The last point will make things easier ‘s that you only have one account to remove access from. Imagine having to remove access to twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Google, LinkedIn, etc.… Consolidate the accounts in one spot to minimize an insider threat caused by oversight on what accounts they have access to.

Social media and online security

Social media is a fantastic way to connect with your customers. It can be a very valuable asset to your company. The value that you get from that can be exploited by hackers for monetary reasons, or simply to troll you. Both of these will wind up costing you money. Invest in these tactics, make sure that your employees follow through on them, and you will save yourself a lot of money and heartache.

11 things you shouldn’t put on your Facebook

What do you put on your Facebook profile and on your wall? Anything? Everything? Well, according to a hacker, you should be very careful what you put on your Facebook, or you could lose a lot, from money, to even your life.

Some of these things include the sort of details many people use for their passwords – things like their maiden name, first pet, or their favourite album, which seem innocuous when in this other context of a personality list.

Below is a list of some of them:

1. Photographs of your children

While it might seem cute, putting up photographs of your young ones could expose them to pedophiles. Also, what type of information or pictures would your children want to see about themselves online at a later date?

2. Phone number

Your privacy is important, so unless you have a phone number for business purposes, putting up your personal number online could lead to unnecessary phone calls, stalking or even being exposed to scammers.

3. Birthday

Your birthday is one way people can access your bank account and personal details, once they link it with your name and address.

4. Location

There are location services on Android or iPhones, which means that many people know where you live including those that may wish to harm you. Please turn off your location.

5. Too many friends

Having 4,000+ friends on Facebook, when in reality, you only know about 100 is exposing yourself to a lot of unwanted information and interaction. You should definitely prune your friend list.

6. Where your child/young family member goes to school

Do not put the name of your child’s school on Facebook. Frequent offenders are prowling the internet for such information that might put your child at risk.

7. Your boss

We have heard of people losing their jobs because of Facebook posts. While you should be careful of what you post, maybe you should remove your boss, to avoid unnecessary hassle.

8. Relationship status

Your relationships are better kept private. It may not work out, and the consequent change from “in a relationship” to “single” will make you feel worse than you already do.

9. When you are going on holiday

Putting your holiday plans on Facebook is not a good idea. Burglars can choose that time to rob your house.

10. ATM card pictures

This is never a good idea as the number on your card can be used to defraud you.

11. Boarding pass pictures

Taking a photo of your boarding pass, is a way to show off. But it could have serious consequences, the barcode on your boarding pass is unique to you, and can be used to find the information you gave to the flight company.

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