Social media is a great place for connections, interesting content, and news. People use Facebook and Instagram to share stories and discuss interesting things. Upwork and LinkedIn are excellent for finding jobs and building professional networks. While harmless on the surface, they hide dangers in their depths.
Such websites have plenty of identity thieves, hackers, and stalkers. They can take advantage of information about your personal life, friends, and family. That’s why everybody should take the security of their social media accounts seriously. It’s important to understand who you talk to and set up personal boundaries.
Check Your Connections
One of the first rules of using social media is checking those wishing to connect. Especially if they offer business transactions. You might be thinking “ This dude will totally write me an essay online!” only to be scammed out of money. That’s why it’s important to check if a person has a genuine profile and real people as connections.
There are many fraudulent actors with false accounts. Some of them claim to be your lifelong friends or acquaintances. If there’s any doubt about the account’s authenticity, verify it. Facebook and LinkedIn users often create fakes to use somebody’s identity. These accounts can spread falsehoods or scam people.
Some of them are set up to embarrass the real person. In some cases, they put individuals through personal and even legal troubles. Fake accounts are also a great way for hackers to send out links to malicious sites and viruses. Check your connections from time to time. This way makes it easier to determine fakes and block them.
Keep Your Personal Life Private
Even a person with verified connections has to keep their personal life private. Most social media platforms have features that restrict the visibility of profile content. Only followers and friends can see your posts and interact with them. This ensures that no outsiders can access your published posts.
Different platforms offer various levels of privacy permissions. But, all reasonably cover account security. Some of them offer options for sharing posts with certain friends and followers. Go through privacy settings and activate them before using any social media platform.
It’s possible to make some of the posts available for everybody. For example, if you want to make a company announcement or share a music video. Such messages will be visible to all connections. Remember to keep anything sensitive under the wraps.
Don’t Share Personal And Financial Data
No matter the social media network in question, be cautious about the things you want to post and share. When talking to people it’s important to judge what can be said or not. Sharing your phone number, home address, or date of birth is ill-advised. This can create a security risk for your online accounts as well as your physical well-being.
It goes without saying that valuable information shouldn’t be discussed with anybody. Be extremely alarmed whenever somebody asks you about:
- Bank account information
- Credit card numbers
- Real names
If malicious actors get their hands on this data, they can do a lot of harm. Even small personal and financial details can create victims of stalking and identity theft.
It’s important to understand that even deleted content can wind up somewhere. The internet remembers almost everything, no matter how you try to erase data. The best strategy is not to share things you’ll regret in the first place. This will save you from a lot of personal and financial trouble in the long run.
Be Careful What You Post
Being mindful of financial and personal data is important. But, it’s just as important to think before sharing any pictures and posts. This is true when you have many followers and don’t personally know everybody. Some of them may use this data to impersonate you or conduct malicious activity.
That’s why people should always remember the importance of privacy. Avoid derogatory or inflammatory speech against a person or groups of people. Those who love to take selfies should only post that which can be shared publicly. Think twice before posting anything that can backfire on social media to avoid any unwanted attention.
Don’t Make Too Many Connections
People want to feel connected and loved. Some of them think that the best way of achieving this is to have a ton of followers and friends on social media. But, this might be more harmful in the long run. They can connect with many fake accounts. Some of your social media friends might be out there to stalk you. Others want to steal personal information or bombard your account with spam.
It’s better to connect with those you know or those who are friends with your acquaintances. Adding people to your friends’ list just to make it bigger is never a good thing. It’s not a competition even if some Facebook or Instagram users try to make it one. A limited number of friends will make you safer when sharing information. Don’t ignore this rule.
Create A Strong Password For All Accounts
Account protection is one of the most important aspects of safe social media use. It’s as important as having a secure computer or accounts on other websites. There’s nothing more important than a strong password for each of these things. It keeps hackers from getting your account and using it for malicious purposes.
There are several password creation rules that guarantee its security:
- It should have eight characters or more
- It should have numbers, letters, and special characters
Never use obvious things like your birthday or full name. It’s also important to change it once every few months for extra security. Needless to say, never use one password for several social media accounts.
Social media security may seem like a tough topic, but it’s not that complicated. Keep your social circle tight, use a strong password, and don’t share sensitive data. These are simple pieces of advice that will keep you and your accounts safe.
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