With more than 500 million users, Facebook is a social networking site that has already penetrated almost 1 in 13 people in the world. With an average Facebook user having almost 130 friends, and almost 50 percent of its users logging-in each day, the enormous amount of network building that takes place within the Facebook network is unimaginable.
Facebook is set to expand further in the coming years. However, with the benefits gained by having a large network of people sharing their stuff among each other, it has also become a hacker’s paradise. Thus, experts point out that unless adequate precautionary measures are adapted and common sense applied when using Facebook, it may even put ones bank account at risk. Therefore, this article will discuss the potential security risks that emerge through Facebook in relation to the users bank accounts as pointed out by the industry experts.
It all starts by using the same password
In the modern era of social media, it is common for many people to use their Facebook log-in, mainly the password, to log-in to other restricted access accounts such as bank accounts. Thus, a hacker who gets hold of the users’ Facebook password may gain access to the Facebook users’ bank account as well. According to experts, there are several methods currently being used by such hackers to crack the passwords of Facebook users. Most of these methods rely on the emotions and the reflex actions of the uninformed users.
Threat of malware
One method of stealing the passwords is to plant malware in users’ computer through posting links in the Facebook users’ wall. Such links would ask the user to watch a video that had been watched by many of his or her friends. However, when clicked it will ask the user to install an upgrade to the video player and if the user inadvertently proceeds with the installation. At this point a malware could be deployed, which can trace log-in information, and when the person enters them using the keyboard.
False log-in screens
In another instance, hackers may post links that asks the Facebook user to watch an important article, video, audio or any other post although when clicked, a separate window appears and will ask the person to log-in to his or her Facebook account again. Unsuspecting users might type the username and the password in the hackers’ Facebook window, which can directly be stored in a database by the hackers. The window that appears in order to type the log-in information is almost the same as the log-in screen provided by the Facebook itself.
Sharing personal details
In another method, hackers make use of status updates that have been posted by the Facebook users. Thus, information such as users’ interests, all types of favorites including bands, books, movies, albums, previous schooling, work places, spouse’s details, mother’s maiden name etc. is accessed. These are sometimes the answers to “secret questions” used for account verification in banking and credit card business, and is available to users’ networks, and more so to potential hackers.
Apart from the above methods, hackers also make use of the emotional volatility of a person by trying to misguide the Facebook users through instant messaging. This is more convincing than an email that requests money to be sent to a stranded friend.
Recommended precautionary measures
Unless precautionary measures are taken, and common sense applied, using Facebook can increase the vulnerability of users’ bank accounts. In order to prevent such vulnerability from taking place, experts advise users to avoid using the same password for both Facebook as well as for bank accounts, and to change the password periodically. Additionally, users are more secure when avoiding unverified links and accommodating requests to install new software or apps through Facebook. This also prevents hackers from installing malware. Disallowing public to post in one’s wall also help minimize the threat of hackers.
In any event, it is up to Facebook users to take measures to minimize the threat towards their bank accounts when using Facebook and in the years to come. It is also helpful for Facebook users to stay aware of novel approaches adapted by the future hackers.