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Social media still an important tool for phishing

Hackers are using social media to gather information about their next victim. They use that information to form sophisticated strategies and deliver advanced threats into networks.  

These are the results of a new Blue Coat Systems report, based on a poll of 3,130 workers in various industries in Great Britain, France and Germany. Key takeaway from the report is that user behaviour has not improved much since last year. This year, 42 per cent of respondents said they only accept friend requests from people they know. 

This is down one per cent, compared to a year before.  Just as last year, 60 per cent have their privacy settings set up in a way that everyone can see their profile. Forty-one per cent always double-check people's identities before communicating. This is a slight improvement over 2015, when the figure stood at 38 per cent. 

“This research highlights the risks organisations are exposed to due to the behaviour of their employees on social media and messaging applications,” says Robert Arandjelovic, director of Blue Coat product marketing in EMEA for Symantec. 

“Social engineering remains a common tactic for threat actors to gain access to business networks, in part due to many employees leaving security holes through poor social media practices. This makes it easier to have an account compromised, and for attackers to move laterally to more sensitive business applications that contain critical data.” 

All generations, millennials included, pose a significant security risk, the report says, adding that Germans are most likely to use encrypted applications. Every job sector still has much to learn about cyber-security, the report concludes. 

Image Credit: Welcomia / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.