Security concerns with Social Media Mobile Apps

Social media app

Image Src: Flickr.com by jasonahowie

While social media apps for tablets and smartphones are fun and convenient, they do have some security issues and potential problems that you must be aware of. It doesn’t matter if you are a normal or business user. Hackers have found ways to infiltrate these apps to steal your personal information. These are the major security concerns that you should know about before downloading and using social media apps.

Malicious Software

If you download an official social media app from Facebook or Twitter, then you probably don’t need to worry about the app containing any malicious software. At the same time, many third-party websites create similar apps that might have viruses written into them. These fake apps will allow you to access your social media page, but they will also steal your information.

You may also have to worry about supplementary apps. For example, there are some apps that allow you to easily check your various profiles from one location. Someone can easily add a virus to this app so that it will infect your device. Be sure to scan all apps for malicious software before downloading them.

Social Engineering

Most people are immune to social engineering via email and phone because they have heard the horror stories of other people losing thousands or millions of dollars. At the same time, social engineering through social media apps has proven very successful. This is because there is a dangerous level of trust that people often have in their online friends.

A hacker or corporate spy might pose as your friend for months or years. He or she will then ask for personal information that can be used against you. This can range from corporate passwords to your birthday.

Links

This is similar to social engineering because it is based on trust and curiosity. Many hackers will circulate malicious links that bring people to websites meant to steal personal information. There might be a form asking for your information, or the website might just inject a virus on your device as soon as you visit it.

People are very trusting of their social media friends. While most people have enough sense to not share personal information, they usually won’t hesitate to click a link from their friends.

Fake Employees

Large corporations have hundreds of offices in different states and countries. It’s fairly common for one employee to only know about a small section of the entire office. This allows hackers to easily pretend to be employees.

The fake employee will say that he or she is new and forgot the network password. Since most people want to help other employees so that everyone can get their work done, it’s inevitable that someone will share the password.

This type of social engineering is very easy through social media apps because it uses ignorance and people’s willingness to help. An employee that just wanted to be polite could compromise all of the company’s data. This attack is made easier with mobile apps because most employees have access to their devices during work hours.

Automated Logins

Most mobile users set their social media apps so that they can automatically sign in without entering their password. This makes social networking much more convenient, but it’s a major issue if someone steals the device.

While most hacking attempts are made through another computer, many spies have found that the best way to collect information is to steal someone’s device. This allows the person to see all of the private conversations and messages you had through social media without having to guess your password.

If you want to avoid this security issue, then set the app so that you have to manually enter a password to access your account. This isn’t quite as convenient, but it reduces the likelihood of someone stealing your information.

Conclusion

While there are many security concerns with social media apps, the truth is that you can fix most of these problems by just being aware of the issues. Scanning apps before downloading them, never sharing personal information and setting the app so that you have to manually enter a password will significantly decease the likelihood of someone hacking your account.

Author Bio

TorchBrowser is the youthful face for web browsing and downloading in the hi-tech world. Sarah Anderson is guiding young adults and professionals with TorchBrowser.com’s online torrent downloader and twist on prompt web surfing.

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