Here Are The Essential Security Tips To Stay Safe On Social Media
Use this guide to learn how to prevent getting your personal data exposed
When you say “social media”, the first thing that comes to mind is fun and entertainment. Social media is mostly about this.
Everyone has a social account on at least one platform. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, we can easily stay in touch with friends and family, share memorable moments of our lives, follow experts from our professional area, or just read the news.
Social media habits may differ from one person to another, but the reality is we spend a lot of time on these networks. This is why we should ask ourselves more often:
“Do we really know how to stay safe on social media and avoid becoming easy targets for cyber criminals?”
Nowadays, privacy and security should be top priorities for us.
In this guide, you will find actionable and useful security tips to help you stay safe on social media.
You will also learn about the best security practices you need to apply to protect your most valuable data.
How to better secure your Facebook account
There’s no doubt that Facebook is one of the most used and popular social networks out there with over 2 billion people using the platform on a daily basis. Who doesn’t have a Facebook account these days?
It is the platform that helps us better connect with friends and family, and keep up with what they’re doing. But it’s also the place where we share a lot of personal information, so securing our online accounts need to be of utmost importance.
In light of the recent scandal between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook that involved a massive amount of personal information of about 50 million Facebook users, it raised lots of questions on how data is controlled and managed by this platform. I want to believe it was actually a wake-up call suggesting that privacy and security should have serious attention from us.
Follow these basic security tips so you can stay safe on the platform:
- Do not share your password with others and make sure you always set a unique and strong one. Use this security guide that will teach you how to easily manage passwords like a pro and keep malicious actors away.
- If you’ve logged in from a different computer/device you’ve shared with others, remember to always log out and don’t check “Keep me logged in”
- Use two-factor authentication feature which can be activated by clicking the Setup button from Settings. Confirm this action by enabling it and re-enter your password, and then you will receive an email or a code via your mobile phone saying that two-factor authentication has been activated
- Strongly advise you to accept friend requests from people you know in real life, or at least, verify if you have a few friends in common. There are many Facebook fake accounts used by malicious people who might spam or impersonate you
- If you notice something suspicious on Facebook, report it immediately. You can do this here.
If you care about your data (and we know you do), make sure you got all covered in terms of security by reading this useful Facebook privacy and security guide.
Apply these security measures to better secure your Twitter account
I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of this platform and love to tweet :-), look out for cyber security specialists and inspiring people, or read news from people and brands I follow.
Whether it’s for personal use or business reasons, this network is a great option to promote yourself, your company, as well as to reach out to someone and stay up to date with various topics you may be interested in.
We strongly recommend to apply these basic security and privacy tips to strengthen your Twitter account:
- Always use strong and unique passwords for your Twitter account, and consider choosing a password manager to encrypt and better secure them. This rule should be followed to ensure safety for every social platform;
- Use two-factor authentication system as a second layer of protection to enhance safety and verify your identity each time you sign in;
- Activate the option “Protect my tweets” from Settings and Privacy -> Privacy and safety module, if you want to get some control over the info shared and who is following you;
- Do not click on suspicious links you receive via private messages, because you could be exposed to phishing attacks used by cyber criminals or malicious persons who want to obtain your Twitter credentials or any other personal information;
- Revise and pay attention to third-party apps that connect to your account, and implicitly have access to your personal data.
- if you ever connect to your Twitter account from someone else’s computer, do not forget to log out and delete all the data of the browser or app.
We have a dedicated article on how you can secure your Twitter account in 10 basic steps that we recommend to check out so you can be one step ahead of scammers.
Privacy and security tips for your LinkedIn account
LinkedIn, the largest professional social network has more than 562 million users and is focused on bringing together professionals from all over the world. It keeps you connected with people you’ve worked or with whom you want to collaborate at some point in the future. It is also the place where you can find freelance projects, and, why not, your future dream job, could be one click or message away 🙂
Given the increase of phishing attacks which are still one of the most widespread and effective methods used by cybercriminals, it is essential to be aware of these scams on LinkedIn too. You don’t want to see your sensitive data exposed out there, right?
Follow these pro security tips to boost your LinkedIn security and privacy today and keep your data away from prying eyes:
- Do not use generic and easy to crack passwords such as “Abcd123” or “Password123” like the Western Australian government employees did, because malicious actors can easily break them. Secure them by using a password manager that generates complex and unique passwords, and stores them in an encrypted database.
- Choose wisely what information you share in your public profile and limit the data you make visible by reviewing and editing your sensitive data.
- Have a look at those third-party apps you authorized to connect to your LinkedIn account because they get access to all your data. Make sure you authorize only the trusted ones and remember to deactivate those you are not using anymore.
- Be very careful about potential phishing messages that might request sharing personal or sensitive information. Don’t! For that, you need to understand how phishing works and this in-depth guide is exactly what you are looking for.
Keep in mind that all our social accounts are very vulnerable to data privacy breaches and other malicious methods. The bad guys will always find creative ways to steal any personal information, including your valuable data from LinkedIn. Do not forget that when you share private information.
Follow these pro tips to better secure your Instagram account
Instagram is the photo and video-sharing social media network where you can explore beautiful places and images. For visual artists, it is also an excellent platform where they can share and promote their work and projects.
However, it is in our best interest to keep in mind the risks we could be exposed to when we share personal information. Especially now that it has become such a popular platform, with more than 1 billion monthly active users.
Security wise, Instagram seems to make efforts to enhance protection for its users. Recently, the company announced its plans to boost security and privacy by adding new security tools: support for third-party two-factor authentication (2FA) instead of traditional text-based 2FA, account verification and “about this account” new feature.
Besides these new security tools, here are some great tips that will help you keep your account safe:
- Activate two-factor authentication feature as an extra layer of protection for your Instagram account. This way, you are one step ahead of cyber criminals who won’t be able to take over your account.
- Change your passwords regularly and make sure you use strong and unique ones, so no one can break them. If you want to change it, use these simple steps.
- Think twice before you give access to third-party apps and revoke access to those you don’t use anymore, appear suspicious or you simply can’t remember them
- Do not share sensitive data in your photos or captions, because you don’t want to expose personal information to everyone following you on Instagram, especially, if your account is public
- Don’t reveal your location to others and make sure the service is turned off, especially for the check-ins made at home, at work or while on a vacation.
- Make your account private, so you can share your photos and videos with people you only approve to see them, like your friends and family.
We have an essential guide on how to secure your Instagram account and increase it, so no cyber criminals and scammers get access to it.
Security tips to keep your Snapchat account safe
Snapchat is both a social media network and a messaging platform which is more popular among teenagers and young people. According to a new report, analysts forecast that by 2019 Snapchat will have almost 5 million regular users aged 18-24 years, half a million more than Facebook.
Bill Fisher, senior analyst at eMarketer stated:
Many younger social network users are forgoing Facebook altogether in favor of more appealing mobile-first alternatives, such as Snapchat.
Snapchat shows instant messages, photos or videos that are deleted instantly, after they’ve been viewed by all recipients, but oh, snap! “How secure is your data on this social platform?”
Here’s how you can add extra levels of security to avoid seeing your data in the hands of hackers:
- Enable two-factor authentication feature to make the account more secure and add double security layer when logging in. You can do this using an SMS verification code or an authenticator app. Here’s how to activate it.
- Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know, and stick to friends-only. For security measures, Snapchat has the option “friends-only” set by default, which means only those that follow you back can see your Snaps and vice versa.
- Make your videos and stories posted to the “My Story” section are visible only for people you know or customize them from the Setting menu, but avoid making them available to prying eyes.
- For more privacy, hide your profile from the “See me in quick add” section which can show your profile to random people who might want to add you. You can disable it from the Settings menu.
- If you want to keep your Snapchat activity more private, don’t share screenshots or photos of your Snapcodes with others!
- We keep saying this piece of advice until everyone understands its importance that applies to every online account or service used: Make sure you use only strong and unique passwords for Snapchat too. You don’t realize how easily malicious actors can hack them.
How do you secure your social media accounts?
All of these security and privacy tips may not be new to any of you, but we live in a world of oversharing on social media and it helps remind you how to stay safe on the most important and used networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Snapchat.
Have you applied any of these security measures? Do you have others we should add? Let us know, we’d love to know your thoughts!