Cyber criminals have been #phishing for bait on social media accounts in the South East

Quite often small businesses depend on their social media accounts to survive. Some have huge engagement and losing access would be very harmful to their day-to-day trading.


In the South East earlier this year, a business received a message which at first glance seemed like an official message from Instagram. The message was positioned to scaremonger the user into thinking they had violated a copyright law, and in order to prevent the account being closed within 24 hours, they needed to follow the onscreen instructions.



The business owner clicked on the link, logged into their #Instagram account and within seconds were logged out of their account. Their passwords were changed, and they were no longer able to access their account. This is a real example of a #phishing attack where the business owner lost access to a system they heavily rely on.


The business then received a #whatsapp message from the #hacker with instructions of how to pay so they could regain control of their account or face its deletion within 24 hours. The company had built their online presence over the last 8 years, so quite rightly were worried at the potential loss of valuable content and customer contacts.


#Phishing emails can come in all forms and often are designed to look like a service that you use or need. Here are 3 things you can do if you suspect you’ve been a victim of a #phishing attack.

  • #Take5 and check the sender’s details.

  • Always make contact with trusted details found through a reputable search engine, and avoid clicking on anything sent to you.

  • To prevent social media account takeovers, consider turning on 2-factor authentication #2FA, so any new device trying to log in or make account changes needs a second layer of security before access is given.

Sign up for our free core membership today and receive a useful welcome pack providing you with access to national guidance on #cybersecurity, free resources & toolkits, AND a tabletop exercise to really test your business’ resilience plans against a cyber-attack just like this one.

The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.

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