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What Do Your Social Media Profiles Reveal to Human Hackers?

Protecting Yourself from Human Hackers on Social Media

In today's digital age, security awareness training is more important than ever. One crucial aspect of security awareness training is understanding how a human hacker, also known as a social engineer, can gather information on potential insider threat candidates, such as you. They do this not only to save time and resources but also to make it easier for them to make an informed decision about the candidate they are targeting.

Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, each offer a different perspective and reveal different types of information about you to the human hacker.

LinkedIn: A Great Resource for Professional Background

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform in the world and is a great resource for learning about your professional background. By visiting your LinkedIn profile, a social engineer can find information such as where you went to school, what degrees you have obtained, and your past job positions and responsibilities. This information can provide insight into your education and professional experience, which can be valuable in their search. Additionally, they can learn about any volunteer work you may have reported, which can give insight into what you are passionate about. This can provide valuable information about your personal interests and values.

Another benefit of using LinkedIn is that they can identify your professional contacts, which can be valuable in their search. These professional contacts can provide information about your reputation, work ethic, and professional skills. By connecting with these contacts, they can also gain more insight into your professional background.

Facebook: A Different Perspective

Facebook offers a different perspective from LinkedIn, as it allows a human hacker to learn about your pastimes, hobbies, interests, favorite sports teams, music genres, etc. By browsing through your Facebook profile, they can gain insight into your personal interests, which can provide valuable information about your personality and values. They can also learn about your favorite foods and restaurants, as well as where you like to travel and who you travel with. This information can provide insight into your lifestyle and preferences.

Furthermore, pictures on Facebook can provide a wealth of information, such as your social economic status. For example, pictures of expensive vacations or high-end restaurants can indicate a higher social economic status. Additionally, pictures of you with your family and friends can give insight into your personal life and relationships.

Instagram: A Window into Personal Life and Social Connections

Like Facebook, Instagram allows a social engineer to learn about your personal interests, hobbies, and lifestyle through pictures and captions while giving them a glimpse into your social life, relationships and activities. Some examples of how this social media platform can be used as a tool to gather information on you would be through pictures of you in a professional setting, such as at a conference or in your office as these can give insights into your work and position. Additionally, pictures and captions of your location can reveal your travel habits and routines.

Twitter: A Play-by-Play of Your Life

Twitter offers yet another perspective as it provides a "play-by-play” action of your life, such as where you are going, what you are doing, and what you are thinking about. Additionally, Twitter allows you to broadcast your political leanings, religious convictions, and pet peeves. All of this information can be extremely valuable in a human hacker’s search for the right insider target candidate.

The Importance of Understanding Social Media Background Research Tactics

By utilizing different social media platforms, human hackers can gather a wide range of information on their insider target candidates without ever having to meet them in person. This can save them time and resources, and give them the information they need to make an informed decision.

If you found this blog post helpful, share it with your colleagues and team members to help them also learn how to effectively gather information on insider target candidates using social media. Additionally, consider subscribing to the Counterintelligence Institute newsletter for more valuable content on counterintelligence and security awareness training.


About the Counterintelligence Institute

Founded by former CIA senior intelligence officer Peter Warmka, the Counterintelligence Institute’s mission is to assist your corporations, government offices, academic institutions and non-profit organizations in protecting your sensitive information and personal data records against security breach attempts. Our online and onsite training services focus on transforming the human factor from being the weakest link in security to becoming the most effective defensive tool against security threats against your company and personal life.


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