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Cybersecurity: Putting a Paws on Cybercriminals

Monday, July 11, 2022

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley-Romero

Whether you are a follower of a pet social media account (yes, that’s a thing) or you run one yourself, or you’re one of the 3.81 billion people that use social media worldwide, cyber criminals are seeking to engage with you and your sensitive information.

And as the world turns more and more towards the use of social media, cyber criminals are targeting various platforms opening a portal of new opportunities for them.

TODAY is All American Pet Photo Day. Nowadays, it is very common to see social media profiles dedicated to one’s pets. Those that follow these types of accounts as well as those who run them, lighthearted as it is, are not immune from cybercriminals. In fact, cybercriminals are targeting social media users using four main tactics including:

  • Misinformation campaigns
  • Phishing and scams
  • Malware
  • Hacking of accounts

Misinformation Campaigns

Social media constantly bombards us with information. Not all this information is truthful and can, sometimes, be misleading. It is important to ask yourself where this information may be coming from and why. USDHS CISA provides a whole library of mis-, dis-, and mal-information resources to empower users to understand the threats that this misleading information can have on you, including your personal and financial information.

Phishing and Scams

Targeting users is the name of the game when it comes to social media, but sometimes it can go too far. Scammers have begun to utilize email and text messaging schemes to trick you into giving them your personal information and sensitive data. The Federal Trade Commission provides great resources on how to keep yourself protected from a potential phishing scam. Pet social media profiles are no exception. If you post an adorable picture of your pet and you get a message stating that your pet is so cute, they want to feature it on another pet account or magazine, DON’T fall for it! If it sounds too good to be true, it typically is, even if your pet is adorable.


New research has shed light on how social media platforms – especially those that are frequently visited like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – are becoming massive malware distributors. In fact, one in five organizations have been impacted and 12 percent have experienced data breaches because of the malware through social media. lays out all the research that has been done because many organizations often overlook the dangers that social media platforms have when it comes to malware.

Hacking Your Accounts

With phishing scams and malware becoming more commonplace occurrences on social media (even those cute pet accounts), these two methods can enable someone you don’t know to gain access to your accounts. This is called hacking. Hackers love to stream through the content you post whether it’s on one platform or multiple ones because they see it as a gold mine for personal information. shares stories and results from research showing the regularity of social media accounts being hacked.

With such popularity surrounding even our pet’s social media accounts, the importance of staying safe whenever we’re online – on any platform – should be the top priority. To learn more about the latest cybersecurity tips, best practices, resources and more, visit our Indiana Cyber Hub website and follow us on social media on Twitter and Facebook.