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43 Percent Increase in Social Media Frauds in 2018: Study

According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018

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With one out of five cyber attacks attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores. Pixabay

In a sign that platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are emerging as new public square for criminal deception, a study has found that social media fraud increased 43 per cent in 2018.

The results suggest that cyber criminals are increasingly relying on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other legitimate social media and messaging platforms to communicate with each other and sell stolen identities, credit card numbers and other ill-gotten gains.

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According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018. Pixabay

Given the ease of use, absence of fees and other benefits of these platforms, continuation of this trend in 2019 should come as no surprise, said “Current State of Cybercrime – 2019” white paper, released by RSA Security.

Trade in stolen identities would gain greater momentum with more stores likely opening on legitimate platforms to sell this type of data, the study said.  According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018.

social media
With one out of five cyber attacks attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores. Pixabay

In particular, fraud from mobile apps increased 680 per cent between 2015 and 2018, said the study, adding the use of rogue mobile applications to defraud consumers was on the rise.

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With one out of five cyber attacks attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores.

“We expect the popularity of the mobile channel for fraud will continue through 2019, especially as cyber criminals keep finding ways to introduce tactics and technologies such as phishing and malware to the mobile channel,” the report said. (IANS)

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Time Spent on Social Media May Not Make Teens Depressed: Study

For the study, researchers worked with 500 youth between the ages of 13 and 20, who completed once-yearly questionnaires over an eight-year span

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Social Media
Social Media use was measured by asking participants how much time they spent on social networking sites on a typical day. Pixabay

The amount of time spent on social media is not directly adding to the anxiety or depression issues in teenagers, say reseachers from Brigham Young University.

The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, shows that it is not merely the amount of time spent on social media that’s leading to an increase in depression or anxiety among adolescents.

“We spent eight years trying to really understand the relationship between time spent on social media and depression for developing teenagers,” said study author Sarah Coyne, Professor at Brigham Young University in the US.

“If they increased their social media time, would it make them more depressed? Also, if they decreased their social media time, were they less depressed? The answer is no. We found that time spent on social media was not what was impacting anxiety or depression,” Coyne added.

Mental health is a multi-process syndrome, where no one stressor is likely to be the cause of depression or anxiety.

Social Media
Time spent on Social Media is not what was impacting anxiety or depression. Pixabay

For the study, researchers worked with 500 youth between the ages of 13 and 20, who completed once-yearly questionnaires over an eight-year span.

Social media use was measured by asking participants how much time they spent on social networking sites on a typical day.

To measure depression and anxiety, participants responded to questions with different scales to indicate depressive symptoms and anxiety levels.

These results were then analysed on an individual level to see if there was a strong correlation between the two variables.

At age 13, adolescents reported an average social networking use of 31-60 minutes per day.

These average levels increased steadily so that by young adulthood, they were reporting upwards of two hours per day.

According to the researchers, this increase of social networking, though, did not predict future mental health. That is, adolescents’ increase in social networking beyond their typical levels did not predict changes in anxiety or depression one year later.

Social Media
Social Media use was measured by asking participants how much time they spent on social networking sites on a typical day. Pixabay

Researchers suggest some healthier ways to use social media: Be an active user instead of a passive user. Instead of just scrolling, actively comment, post and like other content.

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Limit social media use at least an hour before falling asleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the most protective factors for mental health, the researchers said. (IANS)