Detecting threats on social media

Whether you use it to keep up with friends and family or to network in pursuit of that next career opportunity, social media is an ever-increasing part of our lives. But it can also put us at risk of being a victim of a scam.

An example of this comes from news of a cyberattack on the networking platform LinkedIn. A recent article featured on the website BottonLineInc details the findings of Allison Wikoff, a senior security researcher on the Counter Threat Unit research team at Secureworks, an Atlanta-based cybersecurity company, and a Dell Technologies company.

The article says Wikoff discovered an attack on LinkedIn users launched by a sophisticated Iranian cyberespionage group. She says they used several tactics to lure in unsuspecting people to infect their computers with malware and to steal their personal information.

Better Business Bureau Northwest &Pacific has also seen examples of this is in other areas of social media, such as people’s use of Facebook quizzes that offer up links leading users to unsecure sites that then may put your personal information at risk.

When it comes to your personal information, keep this advice in mind:

Be careful when clicking and sharing links. The report says LinkedIn users received bogus messages from people they thought they knew. They then sent infected files and urged the user to open them. Be cautious with all links in emails, social media posts or quizzes and online advertising. Theses are all ways cybercriminals try to steal personal information. If something looks suspicious, delete it and research it before you share it.

Consumers should think of personal information like money: value and protect it. They should also be sure they are on a legitimate site before entering personal information. Additionally, they should be wary of communications that pressure them to act immediately or offer something that sounds too good to be true.

Get two steps ahead. Users should consider looking for new technology that incorporates the strongest authentication tools, such as two-factor authentication. This tool requires users to not only sign in with a password and username but also something extra that only the user knows or something they have, such as a fingerprint or face for facial recognition.

To keep online threats, viruses and malware away, consumers should make sure all devices have the latest security software. Updating devices can reduce the risk of infection from malware.

Jeremy Johnson is the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau, serving the Northwest and Pacific. Contact her at by

Jeremy Johnson is the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau, serving the Northwest and Pacific. Contact her at by emailing