Apr 18, 2019 | Updated: 11:44 AM EDT

Experts Warn the Public About Sharing Personal Information on Social Media

Apr 16, 2019 10:13 AM EDT

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An expert on cybersecurity has warned social media users of fake pages that ask them to share their personal information. He then proceeded to say that the shared information can be used by cybercriminals for identity theft or other criminal acts.

Last year, anti-phishing technologies of Kaspersky Lab had stopped more than 3.7 million attempts of fraud and identity theft on social media network pages, said Vitaly Kamluk, director of the cybersecurity company's Global Research and Analysis Team for the Asia Pacific.

According to Kamluk, 60 percent of the fake pages are on social media giant Facebook.

"These fake Facebook pages, which is a form of social network phishing, tried luring the clueless victims to give up their personal data, which include names, passwords, credit card numbers, PIN code, and more," he said on the sidelines of the Security Analyst Summit hosted by Kaspersky Lab on April 9 and 10.

Once the cybercriminals get the valuable parts of your personal information, they can sell it in the dark web where they can transfer it to the black market for data exists. They can also use it for identity theft, blackmail or financial stealing that can put your money and your privacy at risk, Kamluk said.

He also said that the Asia Pacific has an increased number of social media users and one of the reasons behind it is the improved accessibility of faster and cheaper internet in developing countries.

 "With highly-online nations like China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the region has more than 600 million active social media users, which can easily catch the attention of cybercriminals," he said.

"We are consistently detecting online infections against users in the region. Are the threats present? Yes, undoubtedly," he added.

Despite the presence of numerous threats in social media, Kamluk said users can secure their accounts and personal information through simple ways and by using "a lot of common sense and caution online."

Kamluk emphasizes that those who use social media should never post sensitive data in their accounts such as credit cards, debit cards, identification cards, even airplane tickets, and boarding passes.

 "These actions which may look harmless actually open the door wide for cybercriminals. Details like these can be used for the simplest crimes like identity theft or stealing but it can go beyond that," Kamluk said.

He also urges social media users to use strong passwords and they should change them from time to time. Users should avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi as much as possible and secure their own Wi-Fi networks. They should also check their gadgets and other devices are secured and should avoid clicking on links or opening and forwarding unverified messages.

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