Students should be aware of the financial risks that accompany their social media activity.
Each new social media platform — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and whatever else is on the way — unfortunately presents criminals with the opportunity to steal from unsuspecting people. Students should be especially cautious of any unsolicited messages asking them to open a file or click on a link.
Criminals exploit vulnerabilities in social media software and hope that users won’t realize that they’re being phished. One of the most common ways is to send a link to what appears to be a legitimate website. Never click on a link without first ensuring it’s real by checking with the company that is the supposed sender, according to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).
The agency also advises social media users to be wary of any kind of online survey that asks them to fill out a long list of information, such as their favorite car or where they were born. The answers can give scam artists all they need to steal someone’s identity.
(The KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. The agency also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit www.kheaa.com.)