Today we live in an age where online privacy is vital – never before was there such a large number of people connected and sharing what they like and dislike.
It has its perks – it makes us feel closer to each other share our emotions. But there are also lots of bad sides – we can easily be hacked if someone is after you, and the data they’ll get might be precious for them.
We’re aware that sometimes it’s hard to stay safe while using social media, especially if you’re used to sharing personal information with your online friends.
That’s why we want to share seven valuable tips that can help improve your safety without compromising too much of your time or energy (it will be a little more difficult at the beginning, but later on, it will get more manageable).
7 Steps To Reach Social Media Security
This is why today we want to talk about seven steps that everyone should take to reach information and internet security when using social media (especially when shopping online). These safety measures will help you significantly reduce the risk of an account hack or getting scammed. Without further ado, let’s begin!
Avoid Unnecessary Personal Information On Social Media Profiles
In this age where everything can be accessed at the touch of a button, an individual’s identity has been reduced from complex to simplified. In other words, a person’s identity can be based on their name, age, or even date of birth which can all be found on social media.
Take Facebook, for example; an individual’s profile provides them with the option to post their location, relationship status, family ties, and even birthday, which are just some examples of information that is unnecessary in providing online protection.
Do not Click On Strange Links
Nowadays, social websites provide you with the option to share news articles or links on your wall so that your friends may comment and give you likes. This is great for personal sharing but dangerous when it comes to cyber-threats since hackers could easily plant malware within these links (e.g., phishing sites) to gain your sensitive information.
The best way to protect yourself is by simply not clicking on news articles or links sent from untrusted sources.
Do not Answer Emails From Strange Accounts
When it comes to emails, you can receive two types of emails that are generally the same in terms of cyber-threat potential but handled differently depending on the sender’s account type.
If it’s an email account that belongs to a large company, you can easily identify these accounts as legitimate since larger companies tend to safeguard their names using multitudes of other accounts (e.g., Twitter).
However, if it’s an email that seems strange or does not have any company name attached at all, then be forewarned! You should never click on links within such emails and even reply to them with the subject “REMOVE” to unsubscribe from any future emails.
Make Sure To Close Your Profile
As mentioned earlier, people’s identities are very simple nowadays. They can be based solely on their name or date of birth; also, consider the idea of Facebook introducing facial recognition software in which you automatically tag your friends when uploading photos.
As a result, hackers may use your open social media profiles as an easy way to infiltrate your personal information (e.g., passwords). Thus, if you want to ensure that no one accesses your accounts without permission, you should close all of them whenever you’re not using them.
Keep Sensitive Information Minimal
The more information you have about yourself on the web, the higher your risk of being hacked since individuals with less information are harder to stalk.
Therefore, it would be best for you to delete any personal media files that are not necessary (e.g., home videos) and refrain from sharing too many details about yourself on social media platforms and online forums. Also, limit the amount of sensitive information you use on applications or websites that require sign-ups such as Skout, Tinder, Twitter, etc.
If you want to protect yourself against cyber threats, staying up-to-date on the latest social media security measures would be beneficial. For example, Facebook introduces new privacy features on their “high-rank pages” (e.g., public figures) whenever they become aware of possible security holes that need to be patched up.
You can then use this knowledge to modify your privacy settings to prevent any unauthorized access.
Use Special Tools When Shopping Online
When shopping online, you should ensure that the website is either safe or has already been verified by an authority (e.g., Verisign, McAfee). If you do not want anyone poking around your credit card information, it would be best to check up on the website’s safety first before buying anything from them.
Also, if you are receiving spam emails from unknown sources, you can use tools to do a quick background check on the sender before opening any of them.
By following these simple steps, individuals will be able to protect themselves against various online threats via social media platforms. However, it is essential to mention that no security measure is perfect since hackers tend to find vulnerabilities within specific applications regardless of how careful users may be (e.g., Heartbleed).
Therefore, users should practice caution at all times when completing their daily tasks online (e.g., emailing) and make sure to keep their sensitive information minimal whenever possible to avoid future security problems.
Protecting one’s personal information is not a difficult task and only requires proactive behavior to minimize security risks. Individuals can easily safeguard their online identities from hackers looking to steal their sensitive information to sell it on the black market by following these seven steps.
You need to do your part and ensure that you are doing everything within your power, like using reverse phone lookups to check on unknown phone numbers, or such as using two-factor authentication whenever possible (e.g., Google Authenticator) to prevent potential hacking threats from ruining your online experiences. Remember, prevention is always better than the cure!