Alert: Scammers pose as business contacts in social media

David Pollino
Posted by David Pollino

Social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are a powerful business tool, and a great way to connect with potential clients or others in your industry to share ideas and generate leads.

Young business woman smiling as she reads something on her tablet.But recently we got a reminder of the need to use caution and good sense online. iSIGHT Partners released a report that alleges a conspiracy involving fake personas befriending and connecting with business and government representatives in the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel to gain login credentials to victims’ email systems.

A few lessons to keep in mind:

1) Ensure the privacy and security settings for your social media sites are set to the appropriate preference level. For example, do you want your profile on LinkedIn to be public or private?

2) Be extra careful when connecting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and elsewhere with people you do not know. Remember you can always unfriend or delete a connection on social networks, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, if you suspect you’ve connected with an unsavory character.

3) Don’t share login credentials or other confidential information with an organization that proactively contacts you asking for private or confidential information. Such unsolicited requests for login resets or information are frequently phishing attempts. When in doubt, contact the website or organization yourself and initiate your own password reset.

4) Use strong passwords, as I discussed in a recent blog post.

5) If you believe you’ve been a victim of a phishing scam or a cyber attack, quickly change your passwords and, if you feel it’s necessary, close accounts.

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