Social media has become a part of our daily lives. That’s why it’s important to careful of what you click.
Elaborate schemes infiltrate nearly all social media platforms and can wreak havoc on your devices. Social media is just the latest playground for scammers.
According to cyber security expert Christopher Budd, the bad guys target the most popular sites -- Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
“The criminals are smart. They're going to optimize their scams for what each social media platform does best,” explained Budd.
Facebook users will see survey scams which try to lure you in with a sensational headline or an offer that seems too good to be true.
“Click on it, it's going to take you to another website and guess what? To be eligible you have to enter a whole bunch of personal information," said Budd.
Con artists also take advantage of the relationships people build on Facebook. If they can get you to click a link you’re friends are more likely to follow suit.
“It's going to post on your walls saying, 'Hey, I just clicked on this thing. So now your 50, 100, 200 friends are going to see that,” explained Budd. “So you have not only become a victim of this scam, you've actually become an accomplice.”
And don’t accept friend requests from just anybody. The scammers will clone accounts of friends or people you would trust.
Then when you friend them you’ll be hit with messages asking for money personal information. Pinterest and Twitter scams work much the same way.
Pinterest is the youngest so, “in many ways it’s got the least security controls,” said Budd.
Regardless of the site, the mission is the same -- the bad guys want to get malware on your computer.
“They'll do this by putting what we call keystroke loggers on your system or other types of malware that are built to suck up the personal information or the banking information that you enter when you go to your banking site,” said Budd.
Budd’s advice -- download anti-virus software and change your passwords regularly. And always be suspicious of a links you don’t recognize and avoid offers that appear too good to be true.