VIDEO: Avoid oversharing on social media – warn experts

Photo: File

In the age of tweets, Facebook and other social media, telling the world what you are up to is a click away.

But experts warn that those innocent pictures of your children at the beach, posting you are away on holiday or downloading your favourite game might leave you vulnerable to cybercriminals.

Speaking at a cybersecurity briefing, CSIR researcher Thulani Mashiane said social media users were sharing too much personal information which made it significantly easy for cybercriminals to hack into their accounts.

He said applications that required access to your location could reveal your address, while allowing applications more access than was necessary to your phone could lead to the exposure of your personal information thus leaving you vulnerable.

“Other people still post pictures of their vehicles with the number plate clearly visible for the world to see, making it easier for criminals to clone the registration number.

“Don’t overshare. Think before you click as personal information can be used to answer security questions for certain accounts, identity theft, direct marketing and by stalkers. It is important to be mindful of what you post on social media and to carefully check the permission lists when they download applications.”

Mashiane urged users to refrain from downloading applications that were not from reputable sources.

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He said cybercriminals were targeting children through games, warning parents to check that games their young ones played did not promote self-harming such as Blue Whale, which could lead to their children committing suicide.

He said the game encouraged teenagers to perform certain tasks with the final challenge being suicide.

“Parents please check what kids are doing on their phones. Many teenagers are killing themselves because of these games. In this game, participants are expected to share photos of their completed tasks. This includes cutting themselves, killing animals and eventually killing themselves.”

Cybersecurity specialist Muyowa Motemwa said the public also needed to be aware of the dangers of using public and open networks for banking.

“Cybercriminals love public open networks such as internet café networks, coffee shop Wi-Fi and conference Wi-Fi.

Use a secure network for banking, no banking or social networking on public Wi-Fi,” said Mutemwa also warning against the investment craze of crypto-currencies.

“It is important to note quick returns are not a solution because we have seen millions of dollars lost when these schemes collapse.”

Senior data scientist Dr Vukosi Marivate said mapping and geo-location tools could turn social media into a crime-combating tool.

“We are developing a tool to help law enforcement agencies, government and NGOs in understanding the trends in crime and public safety,” said Marivate.

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Do not fall victim to cybersecurity attacks

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  AUTHOR
Liam Ngobeni
Journalist

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