It’s a Scary (Social Media) World Out There! Part 2: Spam

This post will focus more on a specific aspect that makes the social media world kind of hazardous for users (if you’re new to this topic, I suggest that you take a glance at the first post on this topic for a general overview.)  We’ve probably all heard about spam, but what is it exactly, and what dangers does it pose?

Spam is the misuse or abuse in media outlets, most infamously email.  In email spam, hackers send unsolicited emails (junk) to many users, bringing danger to not just their computers, but in severe situations, their personal lives.  Spammers have moved on from emails to social media.  More spammers are taking advantage of the vast amount of information available through networking sites like Facebook, and businesses need to be aware of this when determining their social media marketing strategies.

Businesses can give access to multiple team members on their Facebook or Twitter pages, usually to help manage workflow.  However, creating these accounts now gives the beholder complete access.  Sometimes, these team members are unauthorized to post something (spam) in the name of the brand or company- and sometimes, team members who have permission to post make mistakes that end up damaging the company.

It’s really easy for a scammer to gather information.  The worldwide web is a huge information portal, and scammers can target information from different demographic segments easily.  Scammers have access to sensitive information, because unlike traditional modes of communication, once something is posted online, it can be spread to multiple places on the web, where anyone can find it.  Spammers can find what they’re looking for quickly, and it’s really easy for them to have users click a link once, and bring them to dangerous embedded pages.

Everyone should be wary of posting information online (many people don’t realize that anyone can access whatever is put on the web), but businesses especially need better filters to prevent spam messages, since their brand’s reputation is at stake.

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