By Tara Rippin • 25 March 2021 • 18:23
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat most hacked social media accounts.
FACEBOOK, Instagram and Snapchat most hacked social media accounts, with phishing messages being the most common tactic used by cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting victims.
Between February 2020 and February 2021, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, ActionFraud, received 15,214 reports about email and social media account hacking.
The majority of reports (88 per cent) were made by individuals, with 12 per cent of reports being made by businesses.
Analysis of the crime reports revealed that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most affected social media accounts.
The motivation behind the hacks are varied and can range from financial gain, to revenge or personal amusement, said ActionFraud.
Some victims are extorted for money, whilst others have their accounts used to send malicious links to their contacts.
Superintendent Sanjay Andersen, Head of the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said: “Criminals hack people’s email and social media accounts to access a wealth of valuable personal information about the individual, which they can use to commit fraud.
“This includes passwords for other accounts like online banking. Criminals also use compromised accounts to imitate the victim online and trick their family and friends into sending money.
“One of the most important things that you can do to improve the security of your online accounts is having two-factor authentication enabled.
“Not only will it prevent hackers accessing your accounts even if they have your password, but it will also keep your valuable information out of the hands of criminals.”
For tips on securing your email and social media accounts, visit ActionFraud’s website.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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