A laissez-faire attitude to social networking is putting social media users at risk of falling victim to increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals.
Posting too much personal information when connecting to strangers can put themselves, their homes and possessions at risk.
Digital criminals and burglars are exploiting this trusting attitude and are creating networks of fake profiles to engineer a set of mutual friends, to target individuals and their homes and businesses. The connection enables the criminal to uncover a wealth of personal information about the social media user, the home and where they work, making them and their homes an easier target for burglary.
In a report this week produced by Legal & General there are some pretty alarming statistics:
- Over nine out of ten Brits, (91%) using social media at least once a week have been asked to connect online with someone they have never met, and over half (51%) have accepted these requests.
- Nearly two thirds (63%) of social media users who have connected with people they don’t know have done so because they had a mutual friend in common. A third (34%) accepted strangers because they were members of the same group, and over one in ten (11%) assumed they must know them somehow, and it would be rude not to accept.
There is a very basic rule of thumb which may be worth considering when connecting with people on social media sites. Unless you have seen the whites of their eyes don’t connect!