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UK Lags Behind US in Social Media Security

According to the latest report from Poofpoint's Nexgate social media division, the UK is lagging behind the US in terms of social media security.

The largest UK brands have an average of 325 accounts, compared with an average of 340 accounts for the top US brands.

The report covers some of the largest media, finance, retail and pharmaceutical firms and found that 80% of Facebook accounts and 40% of Twitter accounts are unauthorised.

The unauthorised accounts include fake accounts that impersonate the brand with the intent of defrauding consumers.

The report said unauthorised accounts are not always visibly unfriendly to the brand they are imitating.

Proofpoint Nexgate researchers revealed that while UK brands are 20% more active on social media than the US, the UK content actually had 60% more spam.

The study showed around 70% of the spam content included work-from-home schemes that claims the user can make "easy money"

working from the comfort of their home. The spam content is usually placed into legitimate social media pages as use-generated content, such as comments.

The report said this higher proportion of spam could mean there are fewer proactive measures in place, and - if unchecked - that spammers could be able to use legitimate social media pages to reach tens of thousands of members of social media communities built by top brands.

The report said: "Messages like these distract the user and pollute the messages that the brand is trying to send, but also highlight the efficiency of social media spam compared to its email-based counterpart. While it might take tens of thousands of unsolicited emails to reach a single user, a single spam social media post can reach tens of thousands of users."

The report highlights the importance of brands taking action to protect their investments, and their audiences, and to close social media backdoors into the rest of their communication infrastructure. The report suggests that to do this enterprises need to find and track their social media account infrastructure, create security policies and security processes; and use technology to drive visibility, enforcement and measure effectiveness of those social media security practices.

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