Go to top of page

How secure are your social media accounts?

29 January 2018

High-profile Twitter accounts in the US are being targeted by cybercriminals.

Attackers take over the Twitter accounts and then direct message the victim’s contacts with propaganda for their cause, or try and convince the victim’s contacts to click on a scam link. McAfee has recently reported these types of attacks on high-profile Twitter users in the United States.

There are concerns similar scam messages could be sent to Australians.

Phishing scams

Phishing scams refer to fake messages that often pretend to be from a large organisation you trust and can be sent via email, text messaging, instant messaging or social media platforms. 

They often contain a link to a fake website where you are encouraged to enter confidential details, such as online banking logins, credit card details, business login credentials and passwords.

Remember: Never give out your usernames and passwords. Once you have, you lose control over who can access your personal accounts and information.

Staying safe

You should never click on links in emails or messages you aren’t expecting, even if it looks like it comes from a government agency, well-known organisation, or even a friend.

Before you click a link (in an email or on social media, instant messages, webpages, or elsewhere), hover over that link to see the actual web address it will take you to—usually shown under the browser window.

Protect yourself when using social media

If it’s offered, use two-factor authentication for your social media accounts. Instead of only entering a password to log in, you’ll also enter a code that is sent to your mobile phone. This verification helps make sure that only you can access your account.

Be particularly careful with information you share on social media that could compromise your security, including:

  • birth dates
  • addresses
  • information about your daily routine
  • holiday plans.

This information can be used by criminals to steal your identity, access your bank account, and obtain credit cards or loans in your name.

Find out how to protect your privacy and personal information online.

More information

Sign up for the Stay Smart Online Alert Service to stay informed on the latest threats.