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article imageMisuse of social networks is damaging business brands

By Tim Sandle     Aug 1, 2019 in Internet
A new study from Trend Micro reveals how the misuse of social networks can damage a business’ brand. The report also informs consumers how they might be tricked into a scam from what is believed to be a trusted source.
Social networking has become inescapable for businesses and consumers. On one level social networks are a tool for one-way communication; on a more sophisticated level, they allow consumers to interact with businesses. There are good points and bad points with this; when businesses get something wrong, a tweet from a disgruntled consumer can easily be shared with thousands of people.
Consumers also need to be mindful; if a scammer sets up an account appearing to be from a legitimate business, this can lead to the consumer either paying out for goods that don't arrive or giving away personal data.
The new study from Trend Micro highlights these issues. For the report, Trend Micro researchers analyzed a large volume of Twitter data to identify relationships between various entities to uncover key insights. This analysis unearthed the fact that criminals were found using fake Twitter accounts to spoof those of legitimate vendors for credible technology support scams. The use of Twitter for nefarious purposes is invariably part of a multi-platform criminal strategy along with YouTube, Facebook, Telegram and other channels.
Commenting on the findings, Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research for Trend Micro said: "Social media is an inescapable part of modern life, and our new research shines an important light on how it’s being used positively by the security community, and abused by criminals."
He adds: "This research shows businesses how the misuse of social networks can damage their brand, and it informs consumers how they might be tricked into a scam from what is believed to be a trusted source. We hope by making these abuses known, both businesses and consumers can be vigilant to not become victims of such attacks."
In terms of the importance of social media, the study found that 44 percent of the surveyed organizations cited the importance of social media intelligence to their digital risk protection solutions. This means the companies will continue to drive the use of social media as a key business tool.
However, this also means that companies need to put better measures in place to inform consumers that they are a legitimate brand, and consumers need to become more savvy — in terms of being cognizant of fake brands.
To assist consumers, Trend Micro makes the recommendation that users confirm the validity of a Twitter account by checking the company’s website directly, rather than through the account. The report further recommends that it is important for security teams to validate Twitter data when leveraging it for investigations or threat intelligence.
More about Twitter, Consumers, business accounts, Social networks
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