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Don't Let Spam Sabotage Your Social Brand

Facebook's 2012 Highs And Lows
Facebook's 2012 Highs And Lows

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Impermium and TeleSign are working together to fight social spam, a scourge that the companies say is affecting not only consumers who use social networks, but also the businesses who leverage social for marketing, sales, customer service and other purposes.

In a whitepaper released in December, "Prevent Social Spam and Fraud from Sabotaging Your Brand," Impermium and TeleSign describe the many types of social threats, including:

-- Account hijacking. Spammers hijack users' personal accounts by stealing social login information.

-- Registration fraud. Fake accounts are registered, often in huge numbers, by bots.

[ Even Twitter can be risky. Read Twitter Direct Messages Disguise Trojan App Attack. ]

-- Malware spam. Social spam often exists in embedded links attached to photos and other content, often lurking in personalized messages that make it seem like the content is coming from a friend or follower.

-- Comment spam. Spammers use the sharing features on social sites to share messages, often including links to malicious content.

-- Life jacking. Spammers entice users to click on images that appear as though the users' friends clicked the Like buttons associated with the images, thereby recommending them.

-- Malware placement. Hackers create false profiles and then friend people from the profiles. Once a hacker's new friend clicks on a questionable link, spam can be propagated to other friends in that user's network.

-- Third-party apps. Malware can be embedded in third-party apps that, when installed, give hackers control of users' computers.

Impermium estimates that spammers comprise as much as 40% of all social media accounts, and up to 8% of social media messages sent -- about twice the volume seen six months ago.

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