Updated: Apr 7
Unless you’re living under a rock, you most likely have more than one social media account that you use daily. Some of us even consider spending time on social media a necessary part of the day. We’re even willing to put our most vulnerable personal information out there in exchange for the pleasures of using these apps. As you can imagine, this leaves the door open to a whole host of problems. While the methods of attack can vary, the main issue with not protecting your social media accounts is that it can lead to some form of identity theft. This is where the importance of being a responsible social media account holder comes into play. Better yet, the steps you can take to become a responsible holder are easier than you might think. At the end of it all, you’ll be left with a boosted piece of mind that social media gives us regardless. That said, here are eight tips to protect your social media accounts.
Following “Strong Password” Steps
When you set up a new social media account, you’ll most likely be prompted to create a “strong password” with a series of steps. The steps mostly consist of adding variations to your passwords such as length and characters. While they might sound like weird requirements, there’s a reason why these apps have them. Put simply, ignoring them increases your chances of someone guessing your password and stealing info through social engineering methods.
After choosing a strong password, your next level of security should come in the form of two-factor authentication. This is another layer of protection that’s becoming a necessary step with most social media accounts. As its name suggests, two-factor authentication is simply adding a layer of authentication, such as a phone number or email code, on top of your normal login info. The idea is that this protects you in the event you’re initial login info is hacked.
Using A VPN
If you’re out and about, using a VPN when browsing your social media is the best way to protect your accounts. Also called a virtual private network, A VPN gives you the ability to browse privately while using public wireless internet. Even if someone was targeting you, there’s no way they’ll be able to see how you log in to your accounts from your secure connection.
Updating/Refreshing Your Info
Another thing to keep in mind is that most social media platforms are rapidly changing their policies. One of the reasons is so that they can keep up with ways of protecting your account from their end. That said, every platform update they have will require some form of info update or refresh from your end. This serves the purpose of verifying that your information is correct and up to the protection standards of the platform.
Using A Centralized Password Manager Tool
One of the few downsides of being on more than one social media account is having to manage more than one password. Some try to get around this problem by having the same one for all of their accounts. However, this means that if one of your accounts is hacked into, all of them are also. The real solution to this issue can be seen in a centralized password management tool. These tools allow you to sign in to all of your accounts from an ultra-secure, one-time login.
Update Your Device Privacy & Security Settings
The device you use to access your social media accounts can also leave the door open to attacks. For example, the way someone attacks your phone might be different from the way they would try to access your info through a desktop device. This is why updating all of your device’s privacy and security settings are important. Doing this also gives you an added peace of mind no matter where your browsing your social media from.
Use An Antivirus App
Viruses are one of if not the most common way hackers try to steal your info. Even worse, viruses are becoming harder to spot with the eye test even from social media platforms. Nonetheless, downloading an antivirus app on your device will help with this problem. That said, you can also help yourself by not clicking on obviously shady popups or links.
Keep An Eye Out For Suspicious Messages/Requests
Last but not least, keep an eye out for any suspicious direct messages, friend requests, or emails that your accounts receivable. Remember the issue with viruses, this is one of the ways hackers throw one your way. We’ve talked about how much tools can help your cause but, sometimes your gut feeling is the best way to keep yourself protected.