Everyday millions log into their favorite social media platforms to view, show and learn about their favorite celebrities and their lives, update people on their personal lives or see what their friends are up to. Businesses have taken part on social media, allowing fans and competitors to keep up with their everyday workings. Social Media has done an amazing job connecting people and sharing information between these individuals.
However, as with most concepts, there are some negative issues surrounding social media. Hacked profiles and stolen identities continue to be prevalent issues. Images can be used in some of the craziest places on the web, often without the individuals knowledge or consent. Unfortunately, with the internet, information lasts forever. Avoiding a breach, should be important to every user on social media, but social media security appears to something most users don’t take into account. Therefore, here are a few tips to help secure your social media accounts.
During the application of your social media account, in order to create your profile, you are asked to create a password. To create an effective password, try to come up with a password between 8 and 12 items – the more the better. Anything smaller than 8 items would be incredibly easy for hackers to guess.
Another aspect to consider would be the inclusion of numbers and symbols in your password. Most words in the English language do not account for numbers and symbols, thus extending the number of possible combinations your password could consist of. The more combinations, the more passwords a hacker would have to sift through. Most applications suggest the use of numbers and symbols in the creation of your password because it serves as a great strategy for social media security.
Another tip to consider in the creation of your social media profiles would be to keep your passwords separate. The password you use for your bank account should not be the same password you use for Facebook. While something like this seems clear to most individuals, you would be surprised at how many people fail to consider this when creating their passwords.
Using the same password for multiple accounts might seem simple, reducing the need to remember multiple passwords, however it can be detrimental to your security online. Consider, if a hacker was to guess said password, you’ve practically given them access to multiple accounts since your passwords are the same. Keep passwords separate and get in the habit of changing your password every so often. Refreshing a new password will be helpful to keep hackers at bay. Just make sure to write down these passwords somewhere just in case you forget.
Do Not Save Passwords
In the case of ease and accessibility, sometimes we simply save our passwords on these applications in order to use them again at a later date. Unfortunately, if a hacker has access to your device – either it was stolen or left open – they now have unfettered access to your social media accounts because the device thinks it’s you. Fear about forgetting your password should not be enough to jeopardize your safety online. Manually entering your password might be a hassle in the short term, but it’s keeping you safe in the long term.
Keeping Profile Private
For some people, their social media tends to be private space between them and their loved ones to share information about each other. If this is the case, it is important to keep these pages private. Most social media profiles come with privacy settings which can be adjusted to your liking. New followers would need to vetted by you and accepted into your community instead of simply gaining access whenever they like. There is nothing wrong with being selective over who has access to your social media. Selectivity can be a great step to ensuring your privacy online and thus, your security. Public accounts are more likely to be hacked since images are accessible.
Take Care With What You Share
Another tip to consider in the age of social media would be to ensure that whatever you are sharing doesn’t divulge sensitive information to random people. If you want your family life to stay private, don’t post about your family life. If you want your personal life and partner to be private, don’t post about them. Privacy starts with you and they won’t know unless you tell them. Reducing any way for hackers/stalkers to intercept your daily life and trace information back to you serves to be a great step in your plan for social media security.
Don’t Engage in Cyber-Propaganda
Often times online, you might get a message from a friend with a tag-line stating “is this you?” Do not engage in these messages and or content. Usually, your friends account has been compromised and the hacker is looking to compromise other accounts too. Simply tell your friend that they need to change their password and delete the message.
Similarly, do not engage in posts with short links. These links are short for a reason for they are hiding their true nature. Often in clicking these links, you are directed to another page, which could be a front for stealing your information.
Close Old Social Media Accounts
Sometimes, social media applications become obsolete. When this happens, people usually delete these programs of their devices and move on to the new popular platform. Unfortunately, your information is still accessible on these accounts and they are still running in your absence. In these cases, to protect yourself, delete old social media accounts. Deleting them is the best way to prevent hackers from being able to reverse engineer your email address to access other more sensitive forms of information about you, or enact fraud on your name. Before logging out, contacting these companies about a complete removal from their database serves to be a great policy in protecting yourself online.
Privacy online continues to be an important issue. While social media is relatively safe, it is not foolproof. There are individuals out there who are on the hunt for your information. Taking care online is imperative. Considering these tips when online will give you the best chance to avoid getting hacked. See more visit: ERMProtect.