What Are Social Networking and Social Media?

aboutus-KnowBe4-BuildingNetworking of any sort involves relationships. Social networking involves being actively engaged in online conversations with other people or groups of people. Communication is multidirectional because social networking is all about connecting, collaborating, and sharing information freely.

Social media are the platforms, or channels, used for social networking. Just as radio and television are communication channels, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube are communication channels as well. These sites are the tools used to share information, but they themselves are not multidirectional communication. They simply provide the foundation for social networking to take place.

Watch for That Lure; It’s Probably Obscured

Many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) spend a lot of time and effort marketing their brands, products, and services on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Today, these social media channels are valuable tools that any SME can use to reach its target audience. The social networking environment feels safe and friendly. Because of this, our guard is down when commenting, Tweeting, or instant messaging on these sites. This is especially true when the communication is associated with a known and trusted organization.

Cybercriminals expect you to be relaxed and at ease on social networking sites. As a matter of fact, they’re dependent on your guard being down in order for their scams to work.

However, the enticing ad, the email, or the direct message from a Twitter follower or Facebook friend are all you need to become a victim. The success of every phishing scheme depends on a few things:

* Your lack of knowledge: Fortunately for you, you’re learning about the dangers lurking on social networking sites. Knowledge of the different types of fraudulent activities in cyberspace is one of your most powerful weapons against cybercriminals.

* Your lack of attention: Nobody’s perfect. Even those of us who are knowledge- able about the ins and outs of cybercriminal behavior may accidentally click a link. Many times, these mistakes result from not being alert when clicking.

A follower is a Twitter user who subscribes to another Twitter user’s Tweets. Followers see Tweets from these subscriptions on their own home page.

Paying for Services You Don’t Want or Need

Cybercriminals are experts at hiding or waxing over information to prevent you from knowing the truth. One example you’ll find on Twitter is a service claiming to get you thousands of followers quickly. This is an appealing offer to an SME wanting to build a following quickly.

The criminals say that they do this by identifying other Twitter users who autofollow anyone who follows them. They may also claim to have users segregated by interests or geographic location so you can be sure your Tweets are targeted to the right market.

Even if you’re charged for the service and the efforts are successful, cybercriminals who get you followers this way are similar to spammers who sell email addresses. Be careful accepting such offers because you could be accused of sending Twitter spam and be banned from Twitter.

Another example is work-at-home advertisements that promise to help you make easy money. You use your credit card to sign up for a modest fee. Then you’re charged a recurring monthly fee to receive additional tips, but the explanation of the amounts you pay is hidden or nonexistent. If you discover any charges, contact your credit card company within 60 days of the charge and put your request in writing in order to get your money back.

Twitter Precautions

Be extremely wary of short links that offer you coupons, prizes, gift cards, or work- at-home opportunities.

Many free services, such as Twitpic, are designed to enhance your time spent on Twitter. However, don’t assume that every service with “twitt” or “tweet” in its name is legitimate. If you’re interested in using a free app or service, search for the name on the Internet and read independent reviews first.

Facebook Precautions

SMEs should regularly review the security of their company Facebook pages and any associated campaigns. Adjust your Business Page settings and permissions, and be sure to continuously monitor the comments and discussions taking place on your Business Page wall.

In addition, listing your workplace or company affiliation on Facebook is fine as long as you protect yourself while you’re at work. Edit your personal profile application and website settings on Facebook to limit access to your information. Here’s how:

1. On the far top right of your Profile page, click the down arrow and scroll down to and click Settings, then click Privacy at the left. The Privacy Settings and Tools page appears.

2. Click Apps on the left side. The Privacy Settings and Tools > Apps Settings page appears.

3. Edit the appropriate settings to adjust who sees your information

Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of KnowBe4 KnowBe4 hosts the world’s most popular integrated Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing platform. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman teamed with Kevin Mitnick, the world’s most famous hacker, to help organization manage the problem of cybercrime social engineering tactics through new school security awareness training. Sjouwerman is the author of four books, with his latest being Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.