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Social Media and Malware: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Pecking away at social media is often a sea of pictures of lunch, dogs and cats doing entirely forgettable things and (sigh) memes. Constant memes. But finally, you’ve come across something that is really for you!  Which “Insert TV Show Here” Character are You?! Or, “What Kind of Man/Woman/They Really Gets You Going?!” Maybe you aren’t the quiz taking type or you have a really firm grasp on your personality – but look! There has been a celebrity death, natural disaster, early release or leak of your favorite TV shows newest episode. Nothing gets people to click a link faster than celebrities, disasters and the chance to get something for free.
Forbes contributor Anthony Karcz didn’t mince words at all in his article “Take A Facebook Quiz, Give Up All Your Data For Free.” He really makes you think about what you have just let the quiz access – which is everything you have ever posted on your timeline. Ever. Everyone loves getting birthday messages on their feed. Everyone also loves to use their birthday in passwords. We all know ads are targeted based on an algorithm. My sister receives ads for all-natural wool pillow covers without pesky flame retardant and I receive ads for engagement rings and weight loss. Now the quiz can see it all. I’d like to point out that these quizzes and links are 100% not limited to one social media platform. They are literally on every single one.
At least you still have the memes. Sorry, they’ve taken that too. In mid-October 2018 VirusTotal found a few remote access Trojans (RAT’s) imbedded in memes on a popular social media site. While this infection method is in its infancy at the moment, at the rate people are using memes to express their emotions, physical feelings, political views and even love and affection – it’s only a matter of time until it matures.
So, what can be done beyond deleting all traces of yourself on social media and losing touch with everyone you’ve never cared enough about to call or really stay in touch with? You can be careful. Don’t click on links. Don’t take quizzes. Don’t download anything without knowing where it came from. And even with all these precautions, things happen.
What do you do when you think you’ve been infected by malware through social media?
1. Delete. Delete. Delete the link/quiz/meme from your feed. Please don’t pass it on!
2. You will want to change your password. If statistics hold true it probably wasn’t that good anyway.
3. Remove the app.
4. Run a virus scan.
5. Report the scam to the social media platform. We are sure they don’t want that malware there anymore than you do.
6. Report the potential infection to your IT department (not that you’d ever take a quiz at work...).
About Sangfor Technologies:
Sangfor works with partners and customers globally to optimize and secure networks and build cloud computing capabilities. But we know many of the problems with networks and malware often start with well-meaning employees on breaks hoping to catch up on their social media. Keeping them educated and aware of slip-ups that could affect the whole company is part and parcel of network security.
Sangfor is here to make sure your network security and enterprise cloud is safe, secure and state-of-the-art. Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)) Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Visit us at for more information on network security products, services and solutions today and let us help you make your organization more secure.