30Apr 2020

Social Media Safety Tips: How to Stay Safe on Social Networks

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pastebin, et al. connect us with our family, colleagues, schoolmates, business partners, and customers, and even absolute uncos.

Everyone enjoys using social media and is willing to do that all day.

Whether it is watching Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest videos on Instagram, posting photos of yourself enjoying a picnic in Dubai, or signing in on Twitter to catch the trending world news, using social media is becoming part of our daily routine.

Social media has the power of changing lives for individuals running businesses. It helps in loyalty-building for business owners by spreading the news about their brand and reaching out to more customers. This is a main reason why digital marketing for business growth is the right solution.

Most importantly, it is a phenomenally easy way to go as everyone they are searching for can be found there.

Nevertheless, the majority of social media users have little knowledge regarding their safety and expose themselves to cyber-attackers.

They often disclose private information about themselves from their occupations to addresses of their mobile contacts.

Attackers can use the information to commit a severe crime like stealing their identity or financial information.

Fortunately, some several actionable techniques/measures to keep your social media accounts secure:

  • Using a password manager
  • Clicking links with much caution
  • Avoiding acceptance of random friend requests
  • Reading privacy policies
  • Avoid disclosing personal information
  • Updating software on the device
  • Customizing privacy settings
  • Logging out after using social media 

Using a Password Manager

Using a Password Manager

Most people use incredibly frail passwords and even reuse them on other sites.

But what worries the majority of them is how they can remember all the strong and peculiar passwords they use on their different accounts.

Reusing password is a vicious problem as there have been uncountable instances of password leakages in the past, even on reputable sites.

In case of password leakages, criminals would have the combination of your email addresses, usernames, and the password and would use them to attempt on other sites.

Using the exact same password on multiple accounts, a leakage at one website would enable attackers to access these accounts.

We access our social media accounts on several devices – tablets, PCs, and mobile phones. Anytime we are logging in using a new device, it’s crucial to make sure that it is completely secured from cyber-threats like having a strong antivirus package.

Nevertheless, social network accounts are a haven to cybercriminals, we must learn how to protect our identity with a strong password manager.

Most people are using the same password for several social media accounts.

Besides, that is logical since memorizing peculiar and sophisticated unique passwords for each individual account is infeasible. Thinking about the variety of social network platforms we’ve signed up, we must strive to create a unique password for each.

At this point, a password manager suits well.

A password manager stores users’ login details and enables them to log into the accounts automatically. A password manager encrypts the password database using a master password.

Suppose you want to sign in onto your Facebook account using a password manager, you will be allowed to visit the Facebook site as normal. Then rather than keying in your password on this site, you will be asked to key in your master password which is the password to the password manager!

The password manager automatically feeds the correct login details to your Facebook account.

In this case, no more thinking of your username or email address or phone number and password that you often “enter” in conventional logging in.

Users are allowed to generate two-factor authentication that enables sending of passcode to their phones, or set up multi-factor authentication that gathers their biometric details such as fingerprint for authentication.

When registering a new account, a password manager allows new users to create a protected random password so that they will not struggle to memorize it.

Rejecting Random Friend Requests

We only have a couple of hundred friends and we have by now almost included all the people that we know.

So what is the need of accepting friend requests from total strangers?

People we don’t know as friends on our social media accounts is a bad idea for a number of reasons:

First, they can see what you post or comment.

  • What business does a stranger have when they view your activities?
  • Is it necessary for them to see photos of your lovely family, know where your beloved daughter goes to school?
  • Is it their business to know that you’re married and you do a particular kind of job?

A stranger with an evil motive will certainly get this information and steal your identity.

Do not hurry to accept all your friend requests, instead, do a thorough screening.

Most people on social media want to have much following as their favorite celebrities, with little knowledge about the kind of people they are exposing themselves to. This is one of the most common trends seen in social media.

It is dangerous to accept everyone who requests to follow us on our social media accounts, rather, we must be choosy when accepting friend requests as there are people who are looking for our personal information with evil intentions.

With that name, date of birth, occupation, physical location, level of education, marital status, and other information against your profile picture, it is easy for criminals to impersonate you and dupe using your identity.

Also, it is vital to learn what attackers could potentially ruin your name with phony accounts. They can as well send malicious links using your name to your friends.

Upon clicking on these links, your friends will be directed to compromised websites infected with malware or phishing websites meant to lure them into disclosing their financial information – all in the name of you.

Don’t Click Links Anyhow

Don’t Click Links Anyhow

On social media, people would be lured to click on links that appear to be sent from reputable websites like FedEx, Office 365, ManBetx, Fun88, Microsoft, and others; but these links are sent by criminals.

Attackers are much aware that people click on links without reading the whole message.

For instance, if you click on a link that appears to have been sent by ManBetx, you will be directed to a page that resembles the real ManBetx with an exact looking login window. After you have signed in, the criminals will fetch your password and test it with other sensitive accounts such as your PayPal or bank account.

There are several ways you can protect yourself from falling in these traps.

  • First, if in the link you are requested to provide your personal information, treat it with suspicion.
  • Second, confirm who the sender of the link is.

For instance, if the sender is Microsoft and their address is microsoftsupport677@gmail.com, don’t bother responding to their request.

  • Third, if you doubt it, contact the alleged sender to verify the authenticity of the message.
  • Fourth, watch carefully the links before clicking on them.

By hovering the mouse over the hyperlink, the full URL will be seen which can tell the legitimacy of the link.

  • Fifth, criminals are ignorant of copy editing so if the text has typos, avoid it.
  • Lastly, install security software that can diagnose and block the unauthentic websites. By following the above steps, you’ll reduce the chances of being victimized by phishing criminals.

Don’t Disclose All Your Personal Information

When you are about to share your private details online, think about the potential risks, the safety of the information after sharing, and if it is necessary to do that.

Personal information offers criminals instant access to your credit information, bank accounts, and even your assets.

Thinking that no one cares to know your personal information on social media, rethink! You can be the next victim.

Notable methods criminals use to fetch private information is by giving the wrong identity and luring people to give their financial details, passwords, and other sensitive information. With these details, they can easily purchase items.

Hackers send emails and messages that appear legitimate and that seem to be sent by financial or government authorities, online merchants, or organization(s) you might have conducted business(es) with.

In the message, you might be instructed to click to a link or contact through a particular number to claim a certain prize or update some information on your account.

Sometimes, people are coerced to respond, otherwise, they will face some repercussions. This happens as a result of sharing too much personal information on social media.

Criminals have access to sensitive information such as addresses, phone contacts, email, place of work, sensitive photos, et al.

To remain secure from digital insecurity, it is advisable to avoid too much sharing of one’s personal information on social media.

Read the Privacy Policies

Read the Privacy Policies

Before registering for any social network account, it is important to go through the privacy policies to understand how your information is handled.

Several online companies such as Facebook let you know that your information can be sold to advertisers.

If you are not okay with it, you can object to sign up for such platforms.

Customizing Privacy Settings

After going through the privacy policies, it is important to customize them so that only a particular group of people sees your content.

This is not keeping your information from cybercriminals for security reasons only, but to ensure only people of your choice can view it.

Log Out When Done

Log Out When Done

Think about what will happen when you lose your phone with all your accounts logged in.

If it falls into the hands of hackers, the story will be different.

It is safer to stay logged out from our social media accounts, especially on portable devices.

Conclusion

There are uncountable ways to keep criminals away from our social networks, and the majority of them won’t even take a minute.

The above suggestions do not only apply to social networks but are ways to stay safe when browsing on the internet.

Nevertheless, we easily forget the amount of information we are disclosing on social media. We must always watch our ways.

Acodez IT Solutions is a web design and web development company in India offering all kinds of web design and development services at affordable prices. We are also a renowned Digital Marketing Agency providing services like SEO, SEM, SMM, PPC, etc. and all other kinds of digital marketing services. For further information, please contact us today.

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Rithesh Raghavan

Rithesh Raghavan

Rithesh Raghavan, Co-Founder, and Director at Acodez IT Solutions, who has a rich experience of 16+ years in IT & Digital Marketing. Between his busy schedule, whenever he finds the time he writes up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development. All thanks to his master brain behind the gleaming success of Acodez.

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1 Comment

  1. debora

    I found your article very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing!

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