Social media has risen to the forefront of the internet and has become one of the leading industries in the world. It is estimated that around 4.4 billion people around the world use social media.
It’s easy to see why social media has become so popular over the years. It’s one of the best ways to stay in touch with friends and family and you can keep up with the latest news based on your interests.
However, social media has a lot of information about you. If this information falls into the wrong hands it could put your privacy and security at risk. You must ensure that your social media accounts are secure, read on to find out how to keep your data safe.
How Can Cybercriminals Use Social Media?
Your social media profiles contain a lot of valuable information that cybercriminals can use against you. If you’re not careful you could become the victim of a cybercrime simply for not taking proper care of where your information goes.
Social media profiles often require you to provide basic information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses. While some social media platforms keep this information private, it can still be found on your profile by a skilled cybercriminal.
Some social media users put all of their personal information on their social media profiles which is extremely dangerous. This basic information can give a cybercriminal the opportunity to commit crimes such as identity theft and fraud. Some cybercriminals will even sell your information to companies or on the dark web for a high price.
Many people have their date of birth displayed on their social media profiles. However, this can be a mistake for some people who tend to use their date of birth in their passwords. A cybercriminal would be able to hack into your account if they can figure out your password. For many, the date of birth passwords work because it’s easier to remember, and cybercriminals know this.
Even posting innocent images or messages on your profile can be dangerous. For example, you might post a picture of your pet and include its name. One of the most common security questions to reset a password is the name of a pet. You would essentially be giving a cybercriminal free access to your account and allowing them to change your password which would lock you out of your account.
Cybercriminals can also use social media websites to gauge where their interests lie. This would allow them to send you targeted phishing emails based on things that you are interested in. Phishing scams are one of the most common forms of cybercrime. For example, if you are a big football fan, a hacker could send you an email promoting a new football fantasy sports platform, urging you to click on a link to sign up.
However, the link in the email will take you to a fake website that is rigged with a keylogger. Any information you type into the website will be copied and given to the hacker. The link could also prompt malicious software to be downloaded on your device. Malicious software, also known as malware, is extremely dangerous and can range from viruses to spyware and even ransomware.
How to Keep Your Social Media Accounts Secure
Keeping your social media accounts secure is one of the most important steps you need to take in order to prevent becoming the victim of a cyberattack.
The first thing you can do to protect your social media accounts is to set them private. Having a private account will prevent people outside of your connections from seeing your profile and your personal information.
You must ensure to only accept friend requests from people that you know. Cybercriminals can sometimes set up fake profiles to tempt you into accepting their friend requests so that they can see your profile and get a hold of your personal information.
You should also be using strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts. Doing so will make it much more difficult for a cybercriminal to hack into your account by using your personal information.
Strong passwords are made up of letters, numbers, and special characters that do not relate to you in any way. Studies have shown that the strongest passwords are usually made up of a completely random word combined with random numbers and special characters.
Having unique passwords is just as important. Having unique passwords means that each of your accounts has a different password. This way, if one of your accounts has been breached, the hacker won’t have access to all of your accounts at once by simply entering the same password.
You might be thinking that it will be difficult to remember all of your strong and unique passwords. However, you can use a premium password manager to keep track of each password. Premium password managers are more secure than the one on your browser or smartphone because they require you to use a master key to gain access to your list of passwords. A master key is a randomly generated password that only you have access to.