Social media web sites have proven to be the thing that has gotten normal people to use the web in a more social manner than they ever had before. Sure, these same people had used email and other technologies to communicate with people but they were usually in the form of quick messages; they did not use email as a way to communicate their everyday activities. If they wanted to know that information they would just use the telephone and contact the person directly. And when it came to instant messaging; only the people who were computer savvy used it on a regular basis. No, social media web sites have really brought the everyday person into the world of the social net and it is only getting bigger.
But of course, when you start to get a large number of people congregating in the same place, you start to attract the wrong kind of attention. You will get people on there that are only on the web site to mess up everyoneelse’s good time. This can come in the form of a troll which is a person that likes to say outlandish things on the internet just to get attention. Or it can come in the form of a black hat hacker. These are people who are trying to trick people into doing an activity that will bring them to a web site that will provide them with monetary gains. One of the tricks that is going around the social media web sites now is called a spam worm. In this article, I will take a look at what a spam worm is and I will hopefully show you how to avoid them when you are on one of these sites.
What is a spam worm?
There are different kinds of malware that affect the internet. Some are benign and some are very dangerous to your system. There is some malware that will try to steal your information and there is some malware that will try to get your online accounts to perform actions that you do not want it to do. A spam worm is the latter and it is more annoying than dangerous in most cases. This is the case for now but that can change at any time. A spam worm’s main job is to send spam to other people by tricking the user into sending it. An example is the twitter version of a spam worm that happened not too long ago. It would prompt the user to click a link – if the person did, they would then send the users that were following them a private DM (direct message) that had a link that led to spam. For the most part, the links that were sent in the twitter attack were not harmful but a problem like this can lead to a worse attack happening.
Now I will take a look at how you can avoid an attack like this from happening to you if you use a social media web site.
Avoid a spam attack from happening to you
When you use the web at anytime, there are certain things that you must do to make sure that you have a safe web surfing session. Most of these prevention methods will allow you to avoid the effects of a spam worm attack. This means that if you are careful about which links that you click on and you vet (pre-approve) the people that are allowed to send you messages on the social media web sites that you are a member of then you should be fine. You will have to remember that even people that you trust can become affected by a worm like this. You have to make sure that even when someone you trust sends you a link that you are skeptical of it. The reason why most of these attacks work is because the links are sent by people that the person trusts (read more on “social engineering“).
A spam worm these days is usually a nuisance and are not really that dangerous but that can change very quickly. There are a lot of attacks that this technique can work with and some of the attacks are very dangerous indeed.
So, before you fall victim to a worse attack, make sure that you take the precautions now.