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Spammers using social media instead of email

According to security experts, social networking sites, rather than email, are now the most favored platform for spammers to peddle their unsolicited links, as reported by Bloomberg.

This is partially due to the fact that email spam filters have become so effective that tens of billions of spam messages are now being diverted to social media sites instead, according to Dan Olds of Gabriel Consulting Group.

Mark Risher, chief executive officer of anti-spam software provider Impermium, said, "Social spam can be a lot more effective than e-mail spam. We see a lot of it, and we see it increasing. The bad guys are taking to this with great abandon."

According to Risher, as many as 40% of the accounts on social networking sites are actually owned as spammers, and approximately 8% of all messages sent via those sites are spam. This is approximately twice the volume of spam messages sent just six months ago.

Facebook and Twitter have even resorted to suing advertising networks that are accused of running scams on fraudulent pages, which can lead to users canceling their accounts after poor experiences with the social networks.

And while bigger social networks like Facebook and Twitter have the experience and resources to detect and combat spammers more effectively, newer sites like Pinterest might not be quite so prepared. On Pinterest, spam links can be hidden in the embedded links attached to photos, which can be difficult for users to notice. The links could then potentially take users to pornography websites or a virus download. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution in the endless battle against spam.

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