It seems like everybody is getting hooked on Pinterest, even scammers. One of the fastest growing social platforms has amassed popularity with more than 13 million followers that pin their life and dreams onto different boards. I personally admit to pinning anything beautiful and interesting I come across with on the web. Millions more worldwide are sharing the same infatuation with Pinterest. Consequently, this social hub becomes an attractive and fertile soil for phishing and scams. In fact, online security firm Symantec has discovered tricks that can con unwary into giving out passwords, financial accounts and other sensitive information as well as installing malware on their PC. According to Symantec, survey scammers are moving to Pinterest.
Operations Manager of the Symantec Security Group, John McDonald warns the public on how scammers work: “Don’t click on links or attachments, especially shortened URLs, and don’t give out personal or financial information online. A reputable company will never ask you to divulge sensitive information via an email or text message. Educate your children about online safety and encourage them to report anything suspicious.” He added, “…if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
The proliferation of social media is not the only factor; McDonald also mentioned that frauds and scams are aggravated by the immense popularity of mobile devices nowadays: “With the emergence of smartphones we’re starting to see cybercriminals target mobile devices far more than ever before. According to the latest Norton Cybercrime Report, 8 percent of Kiwis have been a victim of cybercrime via their mobile phone.”
The framework on how these cyber scams and phishing is nothing new. Similar security practices and common sense that shield users from attacks on Facebook, Twitter or the Internet at-large apply on Pinterest too. Trend Micro shows various illustrations on how scams are hitting Pinterest.
Cyber scammers feed on every opportunity that appears along the way, be it with the dead or the living—the former comes across as a more lucrative to web menaces, with celebrity demises have been constant targets. The passing of music icon Whitney Houston did not escape the claws of scamming in social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Clickjacking also found its way to capitalize on Amy Whinehouse’s untimely and controversial death. The same mode of online swindling happened this time with someone alive. Dr. Who’s newest cast has been victimized clickjackers on Twitter.
The sudden gush of interest on Pinterest is also a marker that social media threats are coming in no time. And, they have arrived in this platform indeed. The newest social craze has amended their copyright guidelines, but they may want to take a keen look at intruders as well.