You probably have at least one, if not multiple, social media accounts. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and worldwide social media users reached an estimated 1.96 billion! Unfortunately, with the ease of the communication provided by social media channels, there also comes cyber risks and attacks.
Whether you’re looking to secure your own social media accounts or you need some ideas for helping educate employees or friends on how to keep their own accounts safe, here are a few tips:
1. Use strong passwords
This tip applies for any account that requires a password, not just social media. Passwords should be anywhere from 8-20 characters long, with numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. It is often better not to use a full word, but only parts of a word or letters replaced with numbers or symbols.
2. Be careful using third-party applications
There are thousands of applications built by external developers that allow you to do an array of neat things with your account. However, you should be cautious before giving up control of your account to a third party. Revoke access for any third-party application that you don’t recognize by visiting the Applications tab in your account settings. This would be the same for any of those social media surveys that you know all your friends are taking online. Developers can use these to access personal information on profiles or lead to fake websites as part of phishing scams.
3. Get alerts on suspicious activity
One way to keep tabs on access to your social accounts is to install an intrusion detection system on your mobile devices. This type of app will detect suspicious activity and unauthorized access to your online accounts.
4. Consider a password manager
A tool like LastPass or 1Password makes it easier to protect passwords, and store them in an encrypted vault. LastPass takes the hassle out of continuously logging in, while simultaneously ensuring online security of your accounts. It also provides a random password generator that helps people create strong, secure passwords when signing up for access to new sites.
5. Manage account privacy settings
It’s important that people learn about and use the privacy and security settings on Facebook or any other social networks they’re using. These settings help people securely manage their online experience, and control who sees what they post from their account. Whenever you post something on Facebook, for example, default posting permissions are used. You can ultimately select who views your posts, and individuals should customize their default settings in the Privacy Settings menu.
If your employees, friend or family don’t understand the seriousness of social media security or privacy, share with them a few of the top social media scams that are circulating in order to better help them understand the dangers out there.