Every day, we see posts on Facebook from friends saying they’ve been “hacked” and to not accept friend requests from them. While it’s still a form of social engineering, your account hasn’t technically been “hacked.” Instead, it’s been cloned.
Hacking is where a cyber criminal obtains your login credentials and accesses your account while social cloning is impersonation. They clone your profile which doesn’t require them to obtain your username and password information. Since it’s not as complicated as hacking, cloning appears to be taking over and happening more frequently.
Here’s How Social Cloning Works…
A cyber criminal creates a new social media account using your name, picture and whatever is publicly available on your current profile. Next, they access your Friends list and start sending out requests. People think you’ve created a new account and accept the request without another thought. Then, these scammers send messages to the people who have accepted their friend request. They may ask them to wire money or click a link where they fall victim to the scam.
Social cloning doesn’t only happen to personal accounts. Unfortunately, we’ve seen business pages cloned as well. In one instance, a local business was hosting a contest. A scammer cloned the page and sent messages to people who were trying to win. They included a link and the rest was history.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Social Cloning?
While it’s never guaranteed that you won’t be a victim of a cyber attack, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of being cloned or falling victim to the impersonator:
- Keep your profile set to private including your friends list
- Help a friend out and report the cloned account
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you’re already connected to
- Make a post to let friends know someone is impersonating you and NOT to accept your friend request
If you’re a business owner or executive, you may want to take an additional step and block social media sites at the office. The last thing you need is an employee falling victim to a social cloning scam while on a company device.
Book Your Discovery Call Today!
We can help protect your business from cyber attacks.
Phillip Long – CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.
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