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Social media crime affects even those who don’t use it much

Written on Jul 31, 2020

By Gary Hunt, senior content editor

Details are sparse on Sarah Ackerman’s social media accounts, and she plans to keep it that way.

AckermanS“When it comes to all the personal stuff, I don’t use social media,” Ackerman said. “I have a Facebook account just so it will email me if someone posts a picture of me. It drives all of my family crazy because they can’t get in touch with me there.”

But LinkedIn is a different story, said Ackerman, CISSP, CISA, CICP, managing director at Clark Schaefer Consulting in Cincinnati.

“For my business, when I am doing consulting it’s an invaluable tool,” she said.

And regardless of what you think about social media, whether you use it a lot or just dabble, there are important precautions you need to take – consistently – to keep yourself safe, Ackerman said.

Ackerman and Kyle Schutte, CISA, senior consultant at Clark Schaefer Consulting, will discuss social media and cybercrime next month at OSCPA’s Fraud & Forensic Accounting Conference.

They will teach attendees methods used to carry out cyberattacks, the fallout from such attacks to businesses and networks and how one can identify threats and limit attacks.

Ackerman said the problem isn’t always that people are unaware that online channels can be exploited – it’s that networks, accounts and connected devices have become numerous and commonplace.

“There are a lot of features that are built into our phones,” she said. “And you’re supposed to change your passwords every few months, and that makes it difficult for the average citizen. How do you manage all of your passwords? Then people have problems getting locked out.”

If that’s not enough, you also need to be concerned about other people’s stuff.

“It might not necessarily be that your own account is breached – the problem could be with someone you know,” she said. “Or your account is breached and used to attack someone else.

“We’ll be talking through safeguards that can be applied, and how we do things the right way every single time. And it’s not always about the tech – a lot of those processes depend on people somewhere along the way.”

Like it or not, chances are high that social media will touch your life in some way, so it’s important to be informed.

“I don’t think too much about whether people should be using social media,” Ackerman said. “The fact is, they are going to be using it… nowadays it’s almost ubiquitous.”

Nov. 13-19 is International Fraud Awareness Week. Learn more.

Fraud & Forensic Accounting Conference

Dec. 14 | Columbus

Dec. 14 | Webinar

As fraudsters become increasingly sophisticated, it’s important to understand the complex nature of the threats you face in today’s business environment. Discover the tools, resources and information you need to protect your clients and organization.