Fraud involving social media is still relatively rare in the world of real estate. Yet overall, instances of this type of fraud are increasing. This is unsurprising when you consider that in 2017, around 70 percent of U.S. adults used at least one social network.
Fraudsters use social networks for different types of scams, including phishing and identity theft. As such, you should ensure your social media accounts — both business and private —are kept secure.
This article will discuss the best ways to do so.
Monitor Your Brand
Fraudsters can set up convincing fake accounts that customers may be unable to tell apart from real ones. This report highlights numerous copycat profiles with names like:
- Capital One Loans Company (Real account name: Capital One)
- Capital One Help (Real account name: Capital One)
- Samsung Galaxy S5 (Real account name: Samsung Mobile)
The people running these accounts can direct followers to malicious websites — often hiding the website’s real name using link shortening tools — that could attempt to steal the personal information of victims.
Other scams include selling counterfeit products or heavily discounted goods that don’t exist.
These fraudulent profiles could damage your brand. Additionally, falling for one of these scams could be devastating to your customers.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your business.
Setting up a Google Alert for your brand name lets you monitor when someone mentions your company on the internet. You can then check to see if the mention is a legitimate one, posted by your company or a customer, or whether it was made by a scammer.
If you discover the mention came from someone pretending to be your business, you can report the account to the platform and warn your clients.
Control Your Privacy Settings
Fraudsters can use information publicly available on social media sites to gain intelligence for a fraud attempt.
For example, they could use LinkedIn to find out who works at a company, as well as what their position is within the company. They could then use this information to attempt a business email compromise scam.
While there is some information that is beneficial to share on social networks, keeping the amount of non-essential information available publicly to a minimum could make it harder for fraudsters.
Additionally, some social media sites, like LinkedIn, allow you to change your settings so that only people who are approved can see information about your profile. Doing so could make it difficult for fraudsters to target you.
Be Careful Who You Accept Requests From
On many social media sites when you accept a follow request, the person will not only be able to see detailed information about you, but they will also be able to send you messages.
Fraudsters use social media messaging platforms to send malicious links. These links direct the target to credential phishing pages that will try to steal login details for that specific site.
Because of this, you should be wary of accepting requests sent from people you don’t know. Even those from people you do know should be treated with suspicion. It is easy for scammers to create a fake profile.
Some signs that a profile could be fake include:
- An empty or recently made profile.
- A high number of followers but low engagement.
- No mutual connections.
- Accounts that follow a high number of people but have relatively few followers.
Choose a Hard-to-Guess Password For Your Accounts
The first thing you should do is choose a hard-to-guess password. This means using a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters, and making sure it is long enough. Additionally, the password should be unique to the service you are using it with.
If your username and password combination is not unique and it gets stolen, hackers could access all the accounts where you use the same credentials.
Use a Password Manager
While it can be hard to keep track of all your passwords, password managers like LastPass and 1Password can help by storing all your passwords in an encrypted vault that you can access on your devices. All you need to remember is the master password for your account.
Employ Two-Factor Authentication
The final thing you can do to secure your accounts is employing two-factor authentication. This is an extra layer of security that requires you to input the third piece of information when logging in —usually a code from something you have physically at hand.
Two-factor authentication comes in many forms including authenticator apps, SMS messages sent to your device, code printouts, and physical tokens. Most social networks make it easy for you to sign up to two-factor authentication including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Educate Your Employees and Customers About Fraud
It’s vital to ensure that everyone involved in your business knows the dangers of social media fraud and the steps they can take to take to protect themselves.
As well as locking down your business pages, encourage your employees to take steps to make their own accounts as secure as possible.
Also, tell your customers how you use social media. Let them know your official accounts, the type of information you share, and the hours of operation. That way, if they receive messages from an account claiming to be from your place of business, they will know if it is real or not.
Keeping Social Media Secure is an Important Part of Your Security Strategy
While ensuring your social media is secure is essential, it’s just one step of many your title agency should take to protect itself from wire fraud. We have a full roadmap you can follow here.
Moreover, CertifID is a product that can help protect your business and customers from wire fraud by authenticating everyone involved in each transfer you make. Click here for a free trial to see how we can help your business.