With more than 900 million users, Mark Zuckerberg's expanding social media empire has become a seemingly irreplaceable part of the online experience. Unfortunately, a byproduct of its success is that millions of Americans are far more at risk of falling victim to a number of cyber crimes.
To be sure, cyber crime is nothing new, but the social media revolution has made such crimes much easier to commit. People have "friends" they've never met; they make personal information widely available. And Facebook's hundreds of millions of users are a rich pool of targets.
According to an infographic published earlier this year by ZoneAlarm, a leading Internet security software provider, "roughly 4 million Facebook users experience spam on a daily basis, 20% of Facebook users have been exposed to malware," and Facebook receives 600,000 reports of hijacked log-ins every day.
Malware represents another growing threat for Facebook users, Dr. Kent Seamons, assistant professor in the computer science department at Brigham Young University said. "Hackers get malware on your machine and get tens if not hundreds of thousands of these machines under their control and then they rent them out to spammers and others," Seamons explains.
These rented accounts can then be used to advertise products illicitly or to request money from unsuspecting friends.
Ultimately, all social media sites make it easier for criminals to deceive their victims. According to a study published in Communications of ACM, a journal for computing professionals, the percentage of students that responded to a phishing email increased from 16% to 72% when the email included relevant social information about the target. Quite simple, scams that make it appear that a message comes from a friend make it more likely that the target will respond.These are nine of the ways criminals use Facebook:
By Muneeza Iqbnal
Based on a spate of unusual robberies around the world recently, thieves aren't just money-hungry anymore -- they're plain hungry. These sticky-fingered felons have avoided robbing banks and instead made off with mass quantities of foodstuffs, from soup to Nutella. Here's a rundown of some of the tastier capers we've seen lately:
After the third time this happened, she called up the credit union and asked them to knock it off.
"I finally told them if my card is stolen in Detroit, I'd call them, but they should stop blocking my card every time I paid for something in a new part of the city," she says.
Credit card banks are understandably reluctant to disclose the precise criteria they use to detect fraud, but we were able to find out what sorts of purchases tend to set off your bank's alarm bells. Here are a few of the warning signs they look for.
Businesses get in trouble all the time for trying to pass off counterfeit items as the real thing. But in a strange reversal, a few retailers have been busted for selling real fur, but claiming that it was fake.
The US Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that three companies -- Neiman Marcus, DrJays.com and Revolve Clothing -- had agreed to settle charges that they misrepresented real fur products as faux fur. Several products were involved in the fur scandal, including Burberry jackets, Eryn Brinie vests, and some boots and shoes.
But does celebrity also mean you're a target for hackers? Yes it does.
The A-listers have been in the spotlight thanks to hackers, eager to expose their secrets to the public eye - via their mobile phones, and now through online identity theft.
This kind of publicity isn't good publicity - and these celebs have been targets.
So when the pile of junk mail comes to your attention, the first impulse is to eliminate this clutter from your counter. So into the recycling bin it goes.
But did you know that this unsolicited mail contains personal information that could easily be used in identity theft?
So don't just pitch, here are the reasons to shred these envelopes, letters and flyers before tossing in the blue bin.
The public can be fickle at times, condemning some transgressors to eternal oblivion, while forgiving others in a flash. Here are a handful of individuals who resigned in scandal, but through a unique array of strategies, managed to bounce back with new, re-energized careers.
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