Hackers Target Victim's Social Media Sites (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

December 9, 2013 Updated Dec 9, 2013 at 6:33 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - The holiday season can be a popular time of year for hackers. Experts warn that where scam artists are looking for information now is on social media sites.

Brian O'Hara is with The Mako Group, an information security firm in Fort Wayne. O'Hara says people will post a lot of personal information on sites, like Facebook and Twitter, that can be valuable to criminals.

People will often post where/when they are going on vacation, which can leave their homes susceptible to burglary. They will post about their families, and where they shop.

"People are so much freer with information on those than they ever have been in the past," said Brian T. O'Hara, Chief Information Security Officer, The Mako Group.

"You know, if I'm targeting you, and I'm watching you look, and you mention to your friends you saw two or three cool items, on Macy's website or something, you wanted to buy this weekend. I can target an e-mail to you that looks like it came from Macy's because I know your looking for stuff from them," said O'Hara.

O'Hara says one way to avoid becoming a victim is changing your passwords, and making them more complex.

"Criminals are lazy, and they will always take the easiest path. So if your password is hard to crack, and his isn't I'm just going to take his. I don't care about you, I'll just move on. There's too many people out there, in the hundreds of thousands, using passwords like 'password', and '1234." Why should I waste my time trying to crack difficult ones when I've got a hundred thousand that are easy to crack?" said O'Hara.

To ensure people have safe and secure passwords, O'Hara suggests using at least eight characters, mix lower and upper case, use numbers and use a symbol, such as an exclamation point.




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