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Online Threats: Geotagging, Email and Phishing

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Threats may come in many forms and this includes online threat as well. While we are using the internet, we are prone to be attacked by many viruses such as Identity theft, Trojan, Malware, Phishing and even more. Technology has advanced so much that it has made everything easy to be accessible to anything and anyone this includes privacy as well. Hackers are always looking for good opportunities to attack users. According to an online statistic, it shows that the number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2017 has increased from 0.97 billion users to 2.46 billion users. It is also estimated that there would be around 2.77 billion users in 2019. These users are prone to online threats.

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Many people are geotagging their daily movements on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms as well. Adding location to a post is called ‘geotagging’ and this function is not new to anyone it has been around for a few years in various platforms, when geotagging is enabled anyone would be able to know the users’ location and hackers are able to find the exact specific location by using advanced technologies. Geotagging works in the same way as tracking, it puts the user in danger of being followed. It also alerts burglars that users are not in their houses when they give out live information about their whereabouts. Also, many people do not know that geotagging info is automatically hidden inside photos taken with devices such as the iPhone and Android cameras. According to an article, geotag is embedded in an image and a bit of data providing the longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken.

Even though the location data is not visible to the casual viewer, when a photo is posted on social media, the users privacy and safety is compromised. To avoid this and keep users safe, users should allow”. By doing this, hackers would find it complicated to identify the exact location of the user, this helps to keep them safer.

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details for wrong intentions. It is like hackers and online thieves fishing for the personal information of others. Usually, users in social media platforms post their personal information such as their full names, birthdays, education and almost everything about them that can be used to attack them by social engineers. Most users are attacked through emails by falling into the trap of phishing. Phishing works in two ways. Firstly, they create links to fake websites to steal login and personal information, these websites are created so similarly as the real websites that it seems too convincing to the users to be deceived.

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There are a few types of emails that users have to take note of, which are malicious, hoax and spam emails. Malicious emails contain malicious attachment and user direction which contains undetected malware and redirecting users to sites hosting malware, this threat can be identified easily when a website screen has a warning screen, pop up, redirected to another page or when the page becomes blank and even when the email is sent from an unknown sender. In case a user has accidentally clicked on an malicious email they have to turn on their firewall, disconnect from the internet, stop all online activity and scan their computer using any anti-virus. Hoax email is also a fake email and the most famous ones in recent years is the Nigerian scam. This scam is originated in Nigeria. According to an online statistic, from 2015 to 2018 the number of users reported for Nigerian scam is 4423 and the amount lost were $8,611,575 in total. Usually in this type of scam Nigerian asks for the victims help by telling them sad stories to help them or any way that is so convincing for the victim to be trapped.

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Online Threats: Geotagging, Email and Phishing. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 4, 2023, from
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