Cyber Crimes are now the most popular terms, we often hear in the world of the Internet via digital media, done by the black hat hackers. Especially nowadays people are facing this in their social media areas too. Cyber crimes mean those crimes which are done on the Internet media illegally. What we call hacking is actually the illegal rule of breaking the Cyber Security and snatching data or information. Cyber crimes can happen on any website, on any go-through links on the Internet. But on social media, it is done by snatching someone’s private information from their profile. In that case, we can say that the profile has been hacked. There are several types of Cyber Crimes are happening on social media sites. To prevent initially those cyber attacks, we need to know first about a brief description of those attack types and how they take places in the cyber world illegally. Let’s discuss briefly…
Types of Cyber Crimes on Social Media:
There are different types of social media aka cyber crimes are done by black hat hackers initially, depends on what type of social media profile is this, or the profile belongs to which person. What I want to say is, if the profile as belonging to a common people, then maybe the chances of snatching his/her profile information is less than any public figure (Famous celebrities, Political leaders etc). Because of common people’s profile has not the public value or followers as the public figures have their popularity and hackers, in that case, want to snatch private information to use it against their popularity and maybe for creating any social media violence. Let’s identify these in a list:
- Hacking any Celebrities’ profile (Filmstar, Sports, Journalist, Writer etc)
- Political public figures (Ministers, Party members, Parliament members)
- International businessperson’s profile (or also it is maybe an organization’s social media page itself)
- Scientist (Popular researchers, Award Winner Researchers, or recent popular inventors who got popularity for their works)
- Common People profile hacking (Threatening, personal data hacking)
- Fraud cases by cheating on any transactional matters ( Money loss)
So, these are the types of common social media crimes are eventually done illegally. Now hacking can be done on social media in different ways. Let’s discuss briefly:
What are the common illegal techniques of a hacker which lead to cybercrime on social media profiles & what are possibilities to get hacked?
There are lots of ways to hack the victim’s social media profile and even have possibilities to get hacked.
- Password Cracking directly– There are several ways applied by the professional black hat hackers to crack the password of a profile internally. These are maybe done any professional password checker or editor.
- Hacking Email-id– Most of the social media profiles needs email-ids to log in their profile which is used as their user-id, like on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and in many media. In that case, Hackers often try to hack those email-ids first & then try to log into the victim’s profile through hacked email.
- Profile link & Inspecting the Login page: By using the victim’s profile link and applying some programming tricks, a hacker can easily change the password of the profile (Misusing the account recovering options also) and can log in.
- Phishing: Phishing is another most popular technique of cybercrime, especially in social media hacking cases where a hacker will create a same to look fake login page of the original one and will trick the victim to let him believe the fake login page as the real one and as usual the victim will enter their login-id & password on that fake page which will be retrieved by the hacker through IP addresses. Now hacker will store the information in their database & beside of these, the hacker will also make a copy of that retrieved information to send to the original site. This is the process where the victim may or may not understand or realize that his account has been hacked through phishing.
- Via Unverified Apps: There are many types of apps and links are available on several social media sites. Some of them are for entertainment purpose maybe but actually, there are many applications which will come as an entertaining app but will snatch your private data & profile information easily when you will use those online apps. Online Apps on social media like “ How you will look like in 2028?” or more, “Which celebrity you look like?!”, ” How will be your life going next year?”, “In which year you will get married?”, “When will you die?”, Who were you in previous birth?”, “What are the specialty in your character?” & so on. These types of apps usually scan your profile information, related to your private information, your photos, your posts & even private chats also. A very tricky way to hack the profile details but will give the full pleasure of entertainment to make the victim fool. Some of the apps even ask permission to access the details of profile and the victim, not knowing its intention, allows to access everything. So this is another way to hack your details. Usually, this type of hacking is done on Facebook, but nowadays there are more techniques, applied which are getting viral in the form of an app.
- Browser attack: Another dangerous approach is browser attacking. It means when you are surfing on the Internet from one link to another or gazing between websites, it has a chance when a hacker will track your IP address to know your location & your searching lists from any non-secured unverified link. This hack leads to browser attacking where the hacker will steal all private data from your browser via browser history & stored data cloud which is maybe related to your any social media profile. Through that hacked browser, a hacker can get everywhere easy access while you will open any program or personal profile by giving your password. It will be stored directly to the hacker’s database & the rest will be dangerous for the victim.
- Via Go-through Links: On another hand, the victim also faces some non-verified unknown viral links, sent by either unknown person or from any known individual-one on social media chats like in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & even in Whatsapp also. These links are dangerous because they are nothing but just a trick to hack the victim’s browser history/saved-information and even his phone’s private data including his every social media profile’s access data & then the hacker can use it for their illegal purposes against the victim. These links will lead to an unauthorized website which will trick the victim by its visual looks & contents but behind of this, it will hack the internal data from both of the victim’s browser-history & phone-storage which can be harmful to that victim by its misuse. Sometimes, these links, if you click suddenly, can inject viruses on your device to destroy your storage and even can damage your device.
- Login to another profile via Facebook or Twitter: You will see there are such websites which will ask you to create a profile on their site in two ways- Either by creating a profile by filling their given form or direct login with Facebook-Id or Twitter-Id. Now, if the site is not secure or not safe in general to handle, and if the victim creates his profile by direct login via Facebook Id or Twitter-Id, there is a possibility to hack your Facebook or Twitter profile easily. Because to log in with your Facebook/Twitter profile, you have to first log in your Facebook/Twitter profile, right?! So hackers now get easy access to your profile when you will log in their website with your already logged-in Facebook/Twitter Profile and all private data will be stolen.
So, these were the possible techniques of hacking any social media profile. Though. there are other processes are existing even depending on the security system of social media through which a hacker will steal the data initially & will misuse it. There are many paralegal cases are occurred especially related to any high-profile celebrity or any political public figure who social media profile has been hacked and then the details the sold on the Dark Web.
Dark Web Involvement:
Yes, the dark web has its role indirectly on the social media hacking cases, illegally via black hat hackers. As I have previously said, most of the popular public figures, especially the political characters or any political party’s private data or old viral posts can be stolen from their the social media web pages and then it can be sold under the dark web to any unofficial secret agent, belongs to any kind paralegal activist who works for such illegal atmosphere. These have types also. Like:
- Official Page hacking: Most of the public figures or parties have their official pages on social media sites. Hackers can steal its private and old data records and even can steal each and every relevant data by indirect accessing of their verified pages. That means, through social media, a hacker can steal all the data and even everyone’s profile who are involved with that official page. In details, they can scan and steal their data from every angle as per their need. Then it can be sold under Dark Web to any other rival figures or to any other individual characters illegally. This brings them money. Most of the professional paralegal or black hat hackers are working on this.
- Hacking profile of public figures: As same as hackers can hack and steal the data of any public figure on social media and can hand over them to any rival person on the dark web. Even, the dark web is the place where selling & buying of password & other data, belongs to any public figure, is very common. Now the password and login ids of that hacked profile will be sold via paralegal way in the dark web.
- Only Stealing Data & storing them in a Database: Sometimes, a hacker will not hack the pages or profile but will steal only the posted and recorded data from its history and will make a brief record of every detail related to that page. These contents are prepared as a database by stalking or scanning the profile details very smoothly. This records of the database will go for selling under Dark Web. Now, this information sometimes, are taken over to those journalists who often try to collect some specific data about any politician which is in general strictly prohibited to collect. Or, that information may contain any country’s secret royal or political information which is forbidden to investigate. Those are getting viral by hacking initially.
- Threatening: There are several other cases also where the victim will be threatened by the hackers anonymously on their own profile. This is called Cyber Threatening. Even via anonymous links, they can steal all the password and login-id details and the full account will suffer the congestion of Dark Web’s paralegal activities.
- Forbidden Viral Post transferring: In other cases, sometimes viral posts which are going against of the privacy & policy of any specific social media sites like on Facebook & Twitter, are removed by its authority itself. Those posts if saved initially from that social media site by in significant time can go viral under the dark web. Those viral posts may contain any illegal or against of rule contents of a political case and even maybe like illegal or forbidden videos like pornography or anything other else.
- Social Media Gambling: People like social media freaks, especially those people who often get engaged in any public post for a bet are relating to this point! Social media bets often create violence again its privacy & policies, even these make an illegal betting or gambling on social media. Hackers can get into these chances to steal money and information both. On another hand, gambling is done illegally. So these all lead to a hacker to move the data and privacy to dar web circumference by hacking.
- Fraudsters on Transaction via social media: Admins or Digital Marketers who carry their marketing strategies via Social media profiles, often invest some money via e-transaction to that social media community which is called promoting your content on their media. Now if there is any hacker lies between you and the community, they steal your money while transaction. That means, they will break your profile’s security initiatives. On another hand, many apps or advertisements you will show on your news feed whose names are never heard before but is coming randomly in your news feed who will offer you some good stuff instead of a cheap price. Now if any interested person or any newbie digital marketer, invest some money via debit card to that non-verified authority, his debit card details can be stolen and can be hand over to any anonymous mischief. These fraudster hackers are engaging with social media sites and finding the chances to steal money and debit card details via fake transaction. Now those details of debit cards are transferred under the dark web to any paralegal activist and they can steal all money. This is one of the cruel cases happens on social media sites due to the lack of awareness.
Hacking of private chats on social media sites:
Hacking of private conversational-data or private chatting information from someone’s profile is another side of cybercrime. Generally, in most of the private chats, when a sender sends messages, it becomes encrypted while sending away & at the receiving time it becomes decrypted so that the receiver can read the actual message. That means when you will send a message to any individual one, it will be passing over to the receiver in the form of an encrypted data packet and while receiving the data packet, it will become decrypted and the receiver will see the original message. The Encrypted form of messages is also called Ciphertext. This is the main process of sending & receiving messages in a secure way.
Now, in the case of hacking, when the victim will send a message to an individual one, as usual, the message will be passing over in an encrypted form of a data packet. Now in case, if a middle-attacker (professional hacker) lies between the sender & receiver on the same network with another server connection, he will catch-all the original encrypted data packets from the sender anonymously & will try to either decrypting it to see the real message-details or (if the hacker is unable to decrypt it) will send any other fake decrypted data packets of fake messages to the receiver (Even those are may not be secured & maybe virus-affected). Now on another side of the receiver, there is a possibility like if the receiver receives that fake data packets or decrypted fake messages, sent by the hacker actually, then his/her own chat/profile can be hacked through that fake messages-links. This can happen Vice-Versa also & even from one to another profile and so on.
Though all the above-mentioned facts are actually too difficult to do for a middle-level hacker but for a professional black hat hacker, with such illegal intention & deadly skill, can do this at his best. Because while you are chatting with another person, a hacker on the same network can recognize both of yours the IP addresses from where the message is sent and where it is going to be received. So there is a chance to attack both sides of sender & receiver by cracking the network security.
How to prevent all those types of cyber crimes initially:
Although there are different ways to protect your social media profile in different types of social media platforms. But each of them contains some same security steps to follow. And on another hand, a user has to maintain his/her account with his/her responsibility with awareness. They are:
- Don’t use the same password for different social media profiles. That means you always need to set different passwords for different social media profiles, because once if any one of your accounts gets hacked, all other will be fallen in the same position at the same time. So, use different types of password and try to note them in a secure place where nobody can get access to know anything except the most trusted one.
- Use different types of characters in a password… This means you shouldn’t consider a password with your birthdate/name/phone-no. or any type of other simple remembered phrases/letters/words or those terms, you often use for any other fields. It is recommending you to create your password with unique items by adding some other special characters like “@”, “#”, “$”, “&”, “%”, “*”, “1/2/3” etc. Even it will be better to use both capitals & small hand formations randomly for two or more letters in one password. Also, add a number(s) to it. Because the combination of all sensitive cases, special characters & numbers make a password strong enough & structurally unique which is difficult to crack initially. Even it takes a hacker longer time to crack your profile due to the difficult structure of the password.
- A password should be 8 to 14/16 characters Long: It is obvious that 8 to 14/16 characters long passwords are tougher to crack, especially if it has all the qualities, mentioned in the previous point. (See the 2nd point- Including of all cases & special characters). A very long password with such structural complexity is very difficult to crack practically. Though at the same time you have to keep remembering those passwords by noting them in a secure place.
- Try to keep changing your password after a certain period of time: I would like to recommend you to change your passwords after a certain period of time. Because a password which you are carrying for a long time, could make a possibility to crack your profile’s security and you could get hacked. Because when you set a password for your profile, it becomes encrypted by the system & will be stored in their databases. But a long time running encrypted password can also give a hacker full chances to decrypt it with having the same long time. In this way, a hacker can get much time of involvement to recognize your profile’s security-id & activity statuses to access your private data by cracking the password. On another hand, a long time running password has the chances to be cracked from other connected apps through the connected links on your profile to them. So it is better to keep changing your password in a certain period of time and your profile will be safe as much as possible.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication: Most of the social media sites are now preferring to use Two-Factor Authentication. It means if you want to access your same account from two or more different devices at the same time, it will ask you to verify its user in those external devices by either sending any verification number to your given phone no. or in your email-id which will be used to access the profile from other external devices. In details, if you turn on this feature in the settings and try to log in your account from any other device, it will check whether the user is same or not who is trying to access the profile from another device, and then it will send a verification no. to the user-given phone no. which you have to put in while accessing your profile from another device. Until checking the user with that given verification no. given to your registered phone no, nobody can access your profile from external sources. Only you can access, that means the original user can access. This is one of the most useful & applicable features to secure your account from unauthenticated sources.
- Don’t Use unauthorized apps with your social media profiles: As I have previously said that most of the apps which are often appeared on your news feed can easily get access to your profile data. But in special cases, where some of the official websites or verified apps want to get access to your profile data in necessary of your choice, you can allow them. But don’t give the chances to unauthorized unknown apps to enter in your privacy. Also, you can remove some of the apps from your account settings which are already used& no required further.
- Don’t use Autolikers & Auto followers: Another trending thing is these auto-liker and auto-follower apps. Social media addicted people who are expecting more to more likes and follows on their respective social media sites but didn’t get as expected, they are now coming to use auto-liker apps or auto-follower apps. One of the most dangerous thing if you are going to use these apps. These apps actually authorize your account even without having the password of your profile, but just getting permission by you which you have already provided while login through those apps. That means when you will log in through those apps, they will automatically get access to your profile. Now, you will think that you are getting likes/follows but at the same time, the owner of those apps also uses your account to give follow & like to other accounts. In simple words, they can get full control over your account. It is recommending you to don’t use these auto-liker/auto-follower apps which can get control over your account even can hack in a sudden & you will have to do nothing then except changing the password or even deleting your account.
- Don’t visit unknown, unsecured links: In Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, you may get some links which are often going viral in every private chat from one person to another. It is recommending you not to visit those viral links without checking whether it is secured or not. Just because one of your trusted friends from your private-chat is sending you the link, doesn’t mean that the link is secured to visit. Maybe your sender friend has enjoyed visiting the link but without knowing if it is dangerous or not. Rather, a hacker can create such links to get viral via public-interests through the social media sites/private-chats which gives the pleasure of visiting but can access the private database of your device or account-data from the behind of it silently & you will have no idea what you can lose. Even in news feed, some unknown, unverified advertisements (which will not show their details clearly on the ads) can offer you to visit any unsecured link to check out their offers. This may lead to any fraud cases. Judge every unknown advertisement carefully before visiting their links (If you are really interested to visit) & then decide to click on their provided links. But obviously, try to avoid all untrusted ads & links on your feed & private chats. I am not saying that all are dangerous but it has the tendency today to visit any link from private chats, not knowing the origin of the viral link. So, at first, check if the link is trustworthy & then apply your interests of using it.
- Don’t log in to any unauthorized websites via social media profiles: There are many websites, maybe you will get interested to visit & to subscribe or log in there via social media profiles or they will provide you a form to create a profile with your own given details (Name, password,- email-id). Try to avoid those logins via social media accounts, except the few trusted ones. If you login or subscribe any unknown website with any of your social media accounts, it has the chances to get access to your private information. So, log in via social media accounts only in the verified & secured known website.
- Don’t use the same email-id in both social media & in other public requirements: Most of the social media sites want either your phone number or email-id as your login-user id while signing up. Now what I want to say is, if possible try to use a totally different & private email-id while signing up for an account which will be only used for your social media account’s security purposes & as your login-id, not for any other public cases. Because if you use the same email-id in signing up for a social media account and at the same time for other public issues where your email-id is available to many people (Friends/official services), then it will become very risky for your account’s security due to the public-availability of your email-id. In simple words, using of the same email-id in both cases means, your account’s login-id is also public & available to many people, even you don’t know those every people who have that same email-id which you have also used for official purposes. Now if the email-id is getting public, there is a maximum chance to hack your email first then hack your social media account through it. Even professional hackers don’t need to hack email first, they can direct hack your account through that same email-id, used as your login-id for the account and also for other needs. So try to keep an extra and very private email-id for social media account’s security and not share it with anyone else except the most trusted one if needed.
- Protect your Email-id also: Hackers can also hack your profile via email-hacking. That means as I have said in the previous point, don’t use the same email-id as public & as profile’s login-id. Rather use different, private & protected email-id. Now in that case, sometimes, email can be also hacked via any suspicious sources who send fraud emails to your private mail-id too. In details, you may receive several types of advertising emails, offers for shopping or even money lending emails/offers, cheap price product selling emails & so on. Among them, some are verified & some are maybe fraud in the case. Because they come to your mail-id as ads or offer from unknown sources, though some of them may you know well where most of them are unknown company-emails. Now without verifying if it is trustworthy or not, you should not accept any offer from or even shouldn’t go to any provided link. Because if they are fraud in the case, those links are clicked, even those offers, if you accept, they can steal every related information by hacking your email. Once your private email gets hacked, it will no longer private or private or protected & the linked social media profile will be hacked as well. So, be careful of those emails from those unknown sources which may be fraud in origin.
- Awareness of hacking: Another most common fact to say about the awareness of your social media account’s responsibilities. Your account is in your control & only you should be the one always to control it, so be careful always on what you are doing on your feed or what type of link you are posting/visiting/sharing. Especially I would like to say that don’t think your private chat is safe always, rather, there are many chances to track your IP address via chatting and providing some of those non-verified viral links if you click on it. Check your account setting where you set your audiences whether it will be public or private. In setting, set the status of who will see your posts, who can share or comment on your posts & who can follow or connect you. There are many chances to get hacked on social media. Whatever you do, do freely but for right things, judge & check only worthy things. Be aware of whom you are following and who is following you. Be aware to keep your profile safe & secure and aware others as same.
So, these are the initial steps to protect your social media accounts. Your account will be safe only when you will be careful about how to use it.
Be aware of the protection of your social media accounts. It carries not only private information but it is also attached & linked with many other profiles online which are may very important for personal or working matters. So, be careful of who is engaging with your profile & especially how you will tackle it. On another hand, every social media site provides some of their best security option in profile setting, which you should apply for your account’s security. Maintain the previously mentioned all preferences & your account will be safe & secure.
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