Happy April! In view of the current global pandemic affecting everyone; I would like to use this opportunity to thank all medical practitioners out there risking their lives for us. I would also like to encourage everyone to abide by the quarantine laws in your region: Let’s stay safe at home. In addition, this period is a chance to pursue/enhance your career in Cyber-security. Benjamin Franklin once said, “out of adversity comes opportunity”. Give it your best and seize your MOMENT!
For this month’s newsletter we will discuss how to protect your SOCIAL MEDIA account.
In today’s world, social media attacks happen very often with thousands of malware being created every minute. Even big organizations like Facebook get hacked. At least 10k Facebook accounts are attacked in a day. Imagine having an Instagram account, taking years to build your followers and just like that your account is stolen or infiltrated by a hacker. I know no one wants to lose anything to a cyber attacker and no one wants to be the victim of any kind of theft.
In order to prevent this from happening, we’ve compiled some security measures that could help keep your social media account safe. Remember, cyber attackers mostly play on human vulnerabilities. If you are cautious and remain educated on how to protect yourself online, then there’s a smaller chance of you falling victim.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT
There are many ways hackers can take control of your accounts but here are some steps to take to keep your account secured.
1. Use a Strong Password
2. Change Your Password Regularly
3. Use a Unique Email For Your Social Media Accounts
4. Use Two-factor Authentication
5. Update your Mobile Apps Regularly
6. Close Unused Accounts
7. Monitor Your Account Regularly
8. Adjust Your Default Privacy Settings
9. Beware Of Phishing
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- Use a Strong Password:
The first step to securing your social media accounts or even any accounts is to ensure the use of a strong password. Strong passwords give hackers a hard time in guessing your password and prevent them from having easy access to it. Strong passwords must be hard to guess but easy for you to. Come up with a passphrase that is unique to you. For example, if you like peanut butter jelly, your password could be something like this: “P3anut!B#tt33rJ3llyT!m3”.Make it long – This factor is very vital, use at least 8 characters, more if possible.
Use mixed characters – Make use of mixed letters(Uppercase & Lowercase), numbers, and symbols as it makes your password more potent and hard to guess.
Don’t use same password for two accounts – If the passwords are too many, use a password vault. Last Pass provides this for free to non-commercial users.
- Change Your Password Regularly:
Changing your password regularly helps keep you safe and secured in case your current password have been compromised. Immediately change your password when:
- You notice a suspicious activity on your account
- There is an evidence of unauthorized access
- There’s a malware or your device get compromised
- You shared access with someone and they no longer use the login
- Use a Unique Email For Social Media Accounts:
Before creating your social media account, don’t use your personal email or business email that comprises your personal information. Instead create a new email for it. In the event your social media account get hacked, your personal information will not be compromised.
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- Use Two-factor Authentication:
It is advisable to use two-factor authentication on your social media accounts as it helps prevent attackers from accessing your account even if they get to know your password, it will request a login code that will be sent to either your phone number or email, and if they don’t have access to any of the two, they won’t be able to access your accounts. Most social media sites have options for two-factor authentication.
- Update Mobile Apps Regularly:
Updating your mobile apps will help in securing your accounts as bugs and malware may have been fixed in new updates.
- Close Unused Accounts:
If you have social media accounts you no longer need, it is better you close them as that would help protect you from an attacker using your profile to carry out illegal activities while disguising as you. Unused accounts will be less monitored as you don’t use them and this will give the attacker a better advantage to have access without your knowledge.
- Monitor Your Account Regularly:
Active monitoring will help keep you cautious as you will be notified if there’s any unusual activities happening in your account.
- Adjust Your Privacy Settings:
Your privacy should be your priority when using social media. Before hacking into your account, a lot of attackers will first look into your profile to see how vulnerable you can be. They might even use your profile picture to anticipate your next move: for example, most people tag their current locations or post where they will be going next. Protect yourself, do not tag your location without thought or make a habit of waiting till you are no longer in that location before posting. You should also change your privacy to friends only while posting. Locking your profile a great way to prevent a visitor from viewing your personal posts and it will go a long way in securing your account. Finally, only accept friend requests base on who you know personally.
- Beware Of Phishing:
Phishing- “The fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.” It is best to avoid clicking on links from emails like these.
This January, Forbes reported that Mariah Carey and Adam Sandler social media accounts were hacked. These hackers utilized their platforms to spew out racist and offensive messages. What is awful about this crime is the damage it can potentially do to your own reputation and it could potentially place you and your friends and followers in harm’s way.
What Hackers Do With Your Stolen Information?
Identity theft is a gold mine for Cybercriminals. Things like your Personal Identifiable Information (PII), Private Health Information (PHI), Financial Information, Education information, User credentials are all ways hackers make huge money. They either attack you with your information in their possession or sell it to others in bulk over the dark web.
Do your best by taking all preventive measures and we will do ours by providing you with contents on staying safe and secured online.
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