Cutting Through Social Media Spam

We have all heard of spam, but now it is plaguing our favourite social media platforms creating an influx of ‘Social Spam’.

Social spam has been defined as unwanted spam content appearing on social media networks and any website with user-generated content (UGC). This can manifest in many ways, including but not limited to bulk messages, profanity, insults, hate speech, malicious links, fraudulent reviews, fake friends, and personally identifiable information.

In 2013 alone social media platforms reported that social spam had risen 355% in the first half of the year causing challenges for many businesses using social media (NexGate, 2013)1. Despite all the preventative measures social media providers are putting into their security systems, more and more spammers are accessing users accounts.

As social media experts we are confronted with social spam on a daily basis when managing both our own social media presence and our clients’ and have learnt some useful tricks. Unfortunately there is little that can be done to completely irradiate social spam but here are three tips that can help you develop a ‘cutting through the bad to get to the good’ approach:

  1. Don’t click if you receive a message from someone that sounds particularly out of character (if it’s a friend) or that looks suspicious. There’s a high chance that links are malicious and are likely to contain viruses or bugs that could harm your system.
  1. Protect your passwords! This may sound like a no-brainer but evidence shows that there are still large amounts of people are using generic and obvious passwords such as 12345. As soon as a scammer hacks into one account they will often target further associated accounts using the same passwords.
  1. Use a third-party platform. Another way to protect your online accounts is through using online software such as Hootsuite or Buffer. These can act as extra layer of protection and will notify users of any warning signs or suspicious activity.

There are many more things you can do avoid falling victim to social spam. To find out more, contact us today.

Becky Glanville, Social Media and Account Executive at HarveyDavid. Follow HarveyDavid and for more insights.

 

1 NexGate (2013) Research Report: State of Social Media Spam