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A significant portion of the American population, specifically 90%, utilizes their personal devices for work-related purposes. However, this practice carries a potential risk as there is a chance of unintentionally granting access to sensitive company data. According to Boston News, there has been a recent lawsuit filed by the states of Massachusetts and Vermont against Meta concerning the collection of mental health data of young people. Being a prominent IT Support provider in Boston, we have assisted numerous local businesses in developing social media policies to safeguard their business and employees against social media cyber-attacks.

Social Media and Mental Health

How mental health becomes normal in current youth

It is fascinating to observe how mental health has become such a prevalent and normalized topic among today’s youth. With the increasing pressures and challenges they face in their everyday lives; it is no wonder that mental health concerns have taken center stage. 

From academic stress to social media comparisons, young people are constantly bombarded with triggers that can impact their emotional well-being. This shift in societal awareness has led to a greater emphasis on addressing mental health issues and providing appropriate support systems. 

Schools and communities have mental wellness programs that encourage open conversations and destigmatize seeking help. Businesses must prioritize employee mental health as younger individuals feel comfortable discussing their struggles and seeking assistance.

By implementing strategies that support emotional well-being in the workplace, companies can foster a positive working environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to perform at their best. 

Understanding the Dangers of Mental Health

The impact of mental health on individuals cannot be underestimated, as it can be more dangerous than any other physical illness. Mental health issues can severely affect a person’s overall well-being, leading to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and even long-term disability. It is imperative for businesses to recognize the significance of mental health and take proactive measures to address it within their organizations. This includes providing access to resources such as counseling services, promoting work-life balance, and creating a culture that encourages open communication about mental health concerns. 

By prioritizing employee mental health, companies can not only improve the overall well-being of their staff but also experience positive outcomes such as increased job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and enhanced performance. Furthermore, addressing mental health in the workplace contributes to breaking down societal stigmas surrounding this issue and fosters an environment of compassion and understanding. 

Ultimately, businesses that prioritize employee mental health are more likely to thrive in today’s competitive landscape by creating a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Social Media and Employee Mental HealthYouth and Mental Health: Exploring the Role of Social Media

As per the HHSU.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 46% of adolescents aged 13-17 said social media makes them feel worse about their body image.

The rise of social media platforms has undeniably played a significant role in the increasing prevalence of mental illness among youth. With constant exposure to curated images and idealized lifestyles, young individuals are prone to comparing themselves to unrealistic standards, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. 

The pressure to gain likes, followers, and validation on these platforms can create a toxic environment that exacerbates existing mental health issues or even triggers new ones. Additionally, cyberbullying has become a widespread issue, with individuals facing relentless harassment and online abuse. The anonymity provided by social media allows perpetrators to target vulnerable individuals without fear of consequences. This constant barrage of negativity can have severe psychological implications, further contributing to the deterioration of mental well-being. 

Our smartphones are designed to be addictive, says Jessica Holzbauer, a University of Utah Health faculty. Social apps trigger a dopamine release in our brains, leading us to believe that we reward ourselves every time we check our devices.

Businesses must be aware of these challenges and provide support systems that help employees navigate the impact of social media on their mental health. This can include educational workshops or resources on digital wellness, encouraging time off from screens, and promoting healthy boundaries regarding social media usage. By actively addressing this issue within the workplace, companies can contribute to a healthier and more resilient workforce.

Visiobibliophobia – the fear of social media

Visiobibliophobia is a term that has emerged in recent years to describe the anxiety and distress experienced by individuals when engaging with online platforms. This fear stems from various factors, including the pressure to maintain an online persona, the fear of missing out on important information or events, and the constant comparison to others. The addictive nature of social media also contributes to this fear, as individuals may find themselves unable to disconnect from their devices and constantly seek validation through likes and comments. 

For businesses, it is essential to recognize the impact visiobibliophobia can have on employee well-being and productivity. By creating a supportive environment that encourages healthy online habits and provides resources for managing social media-related anxiety, companies can help alleviate this fear and promote a more positive relationship with technology. Ultimately, prioritizing employee mental health in the digital age is crucial for fostering a thriving workforce that feels empowered and supported in navigating the challenges of social media.

Social media hacking

Social media hacking is a major concern in the digital age. Hackers exploit vulnerabilities to access private accounts, causing identity theft and reputational damage. To secure your account, use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and be cautious of suspicious links or messages. Regularly update privacy settings and review connected apps. Stay vigilant and safeguard your online presence.

Social Media Under Siege: The Worst Cyber-Attacks

  • The HAMMERTOSS malware attack: This attack used social media platforms to control malware that infiltrated the networks of several government and private organizations in 2015. The malware searched social media for commands posted by attacker profiles and then executed them to steal data and send it back to the attackers. 
  • The Twitter Bitcoin scam: This attack compromised the accounts of several high-profile celebrities, politicians, and companies on Twitter in 2020. The attackers posted messages that asked followers to send Bitcoin to a certain address, promising to double their money. The scam reportedly netted over $100,000 in Bitcoin from unsuspecting victims. 
  • The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal: This scandal exposed the misuse of personal data of millions of Facebook users by a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, in 2018. The firm harvested the data through a quiz app that accessed not only the users’ information but also their friends’ information without their consent. The data was then used to influence the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit referendum. 
  • The LinkedIn phishing attack: This attack targeted the employees of Vevo, a video hosting service, in 2017. The attackers sent phishing emails to the employees, pretending to be from a recruiter, and directed them to a fake LinkedIn page. The page then asked them to enter their credentials, which were used to access their accounts and steal confidential data. 
  • The Instagram hack: This hack affected millions of Instagram users in 2017, exposing their personal information, such as phone numbers and email addresses. The hackers exploited a bug in the Instagram API that allowed them to access the information of any user, including celebrities and verified accounts. The hackers then sold the information on the dark web for $10 per account. 
  • US Department of Labor: US DoL was hit by a phishing attack that stole Office 365 login credentials. The phishing email, disguised as a legitimate DoL domain, was sent by a senior employee inviting recipients to bid for a government project. Clicking the bid button redirected recipients to a phishing site that stole their credentials. 
  • Zoom: A phishing campaign targeted at least 50,000 Zoom users who were employees affected by it. The attackers used fear of job loss to trick employees into clicking a link to meet with HR over Zoom. Upon clicking the link, the employee was directed to a fake Zoom login page designed to steal their password. 
  • Crowdstrike: Scammers are using Crowdstrike’s name and that of other security vendors to send phishing emails to employees. The emails contain a phone number to call for assistance in removing malware. However, if employees call the number provided, they are tricked into giving attackers access to their computers.

10 Tips for Employee Online Safety from Social Media Cyber-Attacks

  1. Educate employees about common social engineering tactics and how to recognize them. 
  2. Implement BYOD and strong password policies; encourage employees to use unique, complex passwords. 
  3. Regularly update and patch software and systems to protect against known vulnerabilities. 
  4. Use multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to employee accounts. 
  5. Enable firewalls and intrusion detection systems to monitor and block suspicious network activity.
  6. Provide regular training and awareness programs to keep employees informed about the latest threats and best practices. 
  7. Implement a secure email gateway to filter out phishing and malicious emails. 
  8. Encourage employees to report suspicious emails or messages to the IT department. 
  9. Regularly backup important data and implement disaster recovery plans to minimize the impact of any security incidents. 
  10. Conduct periodic security audits and assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities and address them promptly.

 

Braver Technology Solutions | WeMakeITWork@BraverTechnology.com
Boston 617.315.8515 | Taunton 508.824.2260 | Providence 401.484.7900

Braver Technology Solutions LLC

Kenny Rounds is the founder and CEO of Braver Technology Solutions. Kenny has established an impeccable business reputation for enhancing the technology environment of his clients while guiding and educating them around the perpetually shifting industry.

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