Social media has done a great job of making everyone’s life faster and easier. It gave you direct and constant communication with your loved ones, access to valuable information and knowledge in real-time, and different ways to stay entertained. However, it also comes with a price, especially if you take your cyber security measures lightly.
The world has gone digital in almost every aspect of life, and sadly, criminals have found their way into the virtual world, too. Hacking other people’s private accounts is a vicious act that has been around ever since the beginning of the internet. Now that social media accounts are more valuable than ever for holding personal and financial information, they have become the biggest target of hackers.
Although some believe hacking doesn’t always come with malicious intent, the term has always been painted negatively and continues to be one form of cybercrime. It’s essential to learn about the detrimental consequences of leaving your cyber security vulnerable and how social media hacking can be more damaging than you may think.
The Basic Concept of Hacking
Hacking is the act of hijacking someone’s digital accounts or gaining unauthorised access to computer systems to compromise performance and cause damage. It’s an illegal activity that can be taken legal action against in many countries. The most critical part is that there are more than a few hacking techniques, and they’re growing stronger by the day.
Cybercriminals develop new methods every day in order to carry out their malicious plans. Their objectives could be anything from doxing your private information in public, stealing financial information, leaking confidential data, and holding your data for ransom. The motives behind such acts can significantly vary from one person to another.
We’ve compiled for you some shocking statistics of social media hacking that will compel you to opt for the maximum cybersecurity parameters to protect yourself.
Latest Social Media Hacking Statistics
- 70% of Instagram and Facebook users were locked out of their accounts, while 71% had the hackers impersonate them and contact their friends.
- In 2023, 25% of Facebook accounts were hijacked, while the hacking percentage of Instagram accounts reached 85%.
- Facebook accounts are the most compromised account types in the United States, reaching around 67,941 every month.
- Instagram ranks second in the hacking processes, reaching an average of 36,222 accounts each month.
- Gmail and Microsoft seem to be the least hacked social media platforms, with an average of 4,921 and 4,000 searches per month, respectively.
- 70% of data breaches took place in 2020 during the pandemic, when cybercrime peaked the most.
- The most extensive data breach in history happened in 2013 when Yahoo had over 3 billion accounts compromised.
Recent Statistics of the Most Common Attacks
- Phishing attacks have increased by 130.5% since 2017, and they are still on the rise.
- Although social media hacking is significantly high, 94% of data and information breaches happen due to errors by users.
- 17% of hackers use malware to compromise systems.
- Error cases cause 96% of breaches in smartphone devices, while 3% happen due to the usage of high-risk apps.
- During the pandemic, ransomware attacks peaked the most, reaching a startling 800% increase due to the rise in remote work.
- Small businesses are more prone to cybercrime, being 350% more subject to social engineering attacks than large firms.
Statistics on the Various Reasons and Motives for Hackers
- Around 64% of data breaches that occur in smartphones are for financial reasons.
- Social media hacking happens for plenty of reasons, including spying, yet it only happens for 5% of mobile device data breaches.
- Surprisingly, 78% of hackers reported committing social media hacking acts to hone their skills and compete for job opportunities.
- 51% of white hat hackers professed using hacking to enhance their skills and acquire new techniques.
- 25% of social media hacking incidents were meant for good intentions or helping others.
- While most hackers resort to data breaching to make money, 49% do it for fun.
8 Simple Yet Prominent Tips on Social Media Hacking Prevention
Better safe than sorry is a saying that holds lots of truth within it, especially when it comes to safeguarding yourself against social media hacking. With the increasing threat of criminal attacks, it is crucial to prioritise complete protection of your social media accounts. In fact, some of the damages can be irreversible once these invaders breach your system and become active.
Using the right cybersecurity tools goes a long way in reducing the chances of social media hacking. You can proactively eliminate potential threats before they even manifest. So, walk with us through the essential measures of cybersecurity that will help you fortify your defences.
1. Use Strong Passwords
Using the same username and password may seem convenient for all your platforms and social media accounts. However, this is a grant ticket for social media hacking, where hackers exploit and gain unauthorised access to your valuable credentials. Once they infiltrate your accounts, they can potentially wreak havoc on both your personal and financial information.
It is crucial to understand that opting for solid and resilient passwords can significantly bolster your data security. Don’t compromise your safety by settling for simple and easily guessable passwords. Safeguard your online presence and shield your sensitive data from the prying eyes of cybercriminals.
2. Enable Two-factor Authentication (2FA)
Implementing two-factor authentication, also referred to as multi-factor authentication, is one of the powerful cybersecurity tools that will enhance protection. This vital measure acts as a powerful deterrent against malicious hackers attempting to breach your system. This method requires users to present two or more pieces of evidence to gain access to a website or application.
The concept of this electronic authentication method is akin to a double-door security system. Even when the criminal succeeds in unlocking the first door, they will be confronted with another, more resilient barrier. With two-factor authentication in place, safeguarding yourself against the perils of social media hacking becomes a reality.
3. Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus programs are often overlooked, but their significance cannot be overstated. It is crucial to regularly update and install top-tier antivirus software to fight cybercrime threats effectively. If you don’t have one of those antivirus software programs installed on your devices, you’re making yourself an easy target for criminals who are patiently waiting to strike.
These software solutions boast a plethora of functions, encompassing malware detection and elimination, as well as fortifying your system with robust firewalls. By doing so, your digital fortress becomes impenetrable, shielding you against malicious cyber attackers. It’s one of the best practices to put a halt to any social media hacking attempts.
4. Adjust Your Privacy Settings
It’s important to recognise the risks that come with the openness of using social media platforms. Sharing personal information on these platforms can inadvertently expose us to potential hacking attempts. It’s critical to take proactive measures to protect our privacy. One effective way is to diligently adjust our privacy settings on various social media platforms, optimising them to grant us the utmost control over who can access our information.
Also, we cannot emphasise the importance of being mindful of oversharing personal details, such as intimate photos or excessive information about our friends and families. This simple cautionary step helps safeguard us against the threat of doxxing, where our personal information may be maliciously exploited.
5. Update Your Software Regularly
Using outdated software leaves you at the mercy of cybercriminals, who thrive on preying on the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your devices. The longer you stick with an old version, the more risks you expose yourself to. This is especially true for new updates regularly working on fixing bugs that may be compromising your system or leaving a backdoor for your attackers to exploit.
Nonetheless, it is crucial to pay attention to update reminders of your social media applications and never ignore them. Social media hacking is more damaging than some believe. Emphasising the significance of this cybersecurity measure, it not only safeguards your privacy but also protects your sensitive data, either personal or financial.
6. Avoid Using Wi-Fi in Public
Remote working has become the norm today, and many of us take liberty in setting up our workstations in public spaces. While this can be fun to many, one should still be mindful of the potential risks that come with using public Wi-Fi. These networks found in restaurants and cafes are more often than not unsecured, giving open backdoors for criminals to exploit.
That’s where the absolute necessity of using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) comes into play. VPNs are essential for safeguarding your device and network, especially when connected to public networks.
7. Disregard Suspicious Ads and Links
Social media applications are platforms where ads and links are everywhere to be found. While most of them are pretty benign, others are implanted by criminals as a means to lure you into their traps. When unsuspecting victims click on these elements, their systems become vulnerable to malware infiltration, paving the way for social media hacking attempts actually to follow through.
Among the various tactics employed by criminals, phishing is the most commonly used attack to exploit individuals and their personal data. Typically, criminals send spam emails, impersonating trusted sources or acquaintances, in an attempt to coax recipients into sharing their private information. These spam emails may contain malicious links or infected attachments that silently await the target’s unwitting interaction.
8. Back Up Your Data
Data backup is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity that ensures the preservation of your valuable personal information and sensitive data. It serves as a protective layer in case of a cyber-attack or a social media hacking attempt aiming to corrupt or destroy your data. Having a backup allows you to retrieve your information even after such an attack occurs.
However, it is of utmost importance to back up your data on a separate storage medium, including USB flash drives and/or external hard drives. This separation guarantees that your backup server remains out of reach from potential attackers. It is worth noting, though, that the continuous connection of your external storage device to the computer can pose risks of infection to both the device and your system.
Social media hacking is on the rise in the different techniques used to carry on the mission. Cybercriminals may have various motives regarding why they breach the data of some devices or compromise social media accounts. Although many of them do it for good reasons, hacking is still deemed a cybercrime. Make sure you get yourself well-versed in the different sides of social media hacking methods so you can recognise when something fishy is going on.