How can social media impact cybersecurity

By Srikanth
6 Min Read
How can social media impact cybersecurity

We are social beings by nature; no surprise, social media appeals to us. We enjoy connecting, sharing, and discussing. Nevertheless, there seems to be a risk that these interactions can sometimes go awry online, in remote and disconnected environments. Social media use poses a significant cybersecurity risk – an issue that’s often not understood or acknowledged. 


Cybersecurity is a concern for aggregating digital assets, relationships, and personally identifiable data. It’s not just individuals who face this risk. As an organization, your employees’ social media behaviors have the potential to impact your company. The ability to gather information about your employees using social media networks is crucial. Why? Let’s explore that. 

Everyone’s Information Is Valuable

A digital profile is publicly accessible once you have created one. This makes it possible for malicious actors to harvest it. For the most part, people keep the same images, usernames, and emails across all platforms. Other activities, like banking, are also done with those email addresses. So, you are at risk whenever you upload anything to the internet. 

Most people don’t think their online information is vulnerable to hackers, which is surprising. The perception that only the rich or famous will be targeted by hackers is wrong. Your bank account is of great interest to crooks; hackers can access your computer to target other people of interest to them. Consequently, everybody has some value to criminals.

Oversharing increases the risk of phishing

We all know someone who overshares on social media – someone with way too many “friends” and a constant stream of updates about everything they are doing. Those virtual social butterflies are at greater risk. They sometimes act as a medium to greater sharks. Most people don’t know that oversharing can expose them to spear-phishing and other forms of cyberattack. How? As an attacker gathers more information about you, the more likely they can create a convincing email or text that will entice you to respond to it. Employers evaluating prospective employees are at risk of phishing attempts when considering habitual over-sharers, putting the company at risk. Continuing on that point.

Cyber thugs can collect data from multiple forums.

The act of responding to memes and questions on the internet seems harmless at first glance. Almost everything you post on social media is potentially data, but it’s not just the content you post. Memes and quizzes can provide information to bad actors. Do you remember the security questions sites ask for password recovery? First pet, first car, favorite color, etc. 

That’s the secret knack of getting your probabilities and combinations of passwords. There is evidence that some of these quizzes are designed by malicious actors to target your online accounts and steal your login information. Even if just one or two pieces of information are exposed, a bad actor will search across your social media accounts if you become a target of an attack. Anything publicly available is potentially valuable. 

Information can be derived from relationships.

Furthermore, social media connections can also pose risks to you apart from what you share. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is an example of this. A post like, a comment or a share by your friends reveals a relationship if it is made public. Your accounts are still at risk, even if they are private. As an example, your Facebook profile image is public.

A hacker can conduct pattern analysis across relationships or life patterns regardless of your interests, location, or educational history. Even if you don’t share your relationships with them, they can gather information about you. An attacker uses this tactic most frequently.

Social media disinformation poses a risk to businesses.

Disinformation and misinformation are being exploited by attackers. In response to a recent data breach, malicious hackers could send an email stating that your account has been compromised, so reset your password. The click here is bait for you to key in your valuable information. 

Now, social media has become more than just a way to connect. In addition to being a business necessity, it’s also now a security risk. Social media has become a lucrative source of information for hackers as they devise stealthy phishing schemes and social engineering scams. While it is not an easy road ahead, be sure to have a robust social media policy and enforce it. In addition, you should monitor your social presence too. Such measures will help you avoid social security risks.

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