Every day thousands of people lose access to their social profiles. Many of them never manage to get them back. As the saying goes, “no one knows what they have, until they lose it.” Social media safety is everyone’s business. And, incredible as it may seem, it goes unnoticed by most. Here are seven things to keep in mind to protect your social media.
One of the most used security mechanisms in social networks (and in technology) is access passwords. Establishing a strong password is essential. Some rules that you must follow to work with strong passwords are:
- Use letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters.
- The longer a key is, the more secure it is. At a minimum, try to define eight-character passwords.
- Keep the keys in a safe place. That is, in case of loss of your mobile phone, you have access to the site where you saved them. It can be virtual storage (like Dropbox or Mega). But you do not have the corresponding application installed on your mobile. The same goes for your laptop.
- Set passwords that are easy for you to remember but not associated with your natural environment. In other words, don’t include your date of birth or your child’s name. You could use, say, the name of your first nephew. But change some letters for a number or a special character.
All social networks use your email to identify you. It’s like your ID (national identity document). And that’s why you should take more care of it. Some recommendations to protect your email are:
- Use a unique key. It is common to repeat some passwords that we already know by heart. But the password of your email must be unique, different from all your social networks.
- Have an alternate email account for emergencies.
- If possible, associate more than one email account with your social profiles. Some networks, like Facebook or LinkedIn, allow you to define more than one email address. Would you please do it? It will be useful if you see your main email account compromised.
- Forward emails contain important data (such as passwords, account numbers, or other information) to your alternate email address. So you can see these messages even when you don’t have access to your main email.
- Also Read: How To Use Dark Mode in WhatsApp and Telegram
Two-step authentication involves asking the user for second identity verification, not just the password. It is often abbreviated 2FA for its acronym in English: Two-factor Authentication (two-factor authentication). It is common to see it in banking applications or virtual wallets. When the user enters their password, the system confirms the operation through a PIN (a multi-digit number) sent in a text message.
If your Instagram account is very valuable to you, activate two-step security. This will prevent third parties from accessing your account even if they have the correct password. You can do the same with other profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, or others) to protect your security on social networks.
Don’t click on unknown links. It is common for some Instagram accounts or people on WhatsApp to send web addresses. Many times, not even the sender of the message knows what he is doing. Make sure it is a dedicated page. If you don’t have a good antivirus installed on your mobile, don’t open those links.
You can install a browser extension like Link Virus Check to verify that the web address does not contain viruses on your computer. Hackers use shortened links to lure their victims to deceptive pages. There they capture passwords that they then use to commit their misdeeds. This process of “fishing for user data” is called phishing.
Social engineering attacks consist of extracting vital information from social media users. Those who commit these acts know the weaknesses of their victims. For this reason, sometimes, they pose as entities belonging to the social network to request access data.
Each social network has its mechanism to help the user to recover their password in case of forgetting or if their account was hacked. If you receive a private message requesting your password, ignore that warning and report the account.
If you are a student or work in a company, you probably use a computer that is not yours in these environments. The same happens when you go to an internet café or a hotel on vacation. For these cases, use the incognito mode in your internet browser. This mode prevents passwords and temporary files from being saved on the computer. To do this, you have to go to the browser’s main menu and select the option New window in incognito mode.
Your Mobile Device
Currently, the cell phone is the most used device to access social networks. For this reason, it is necessary to protect your access. What can you do about it? Let’s see some actions:
Enable the screen lock. Define a relatively short time for the mobile to lock if it is not in use. Two to five minutes is enough. Assign an unlock password instead of a PIN or pattern.
If you use a Google account on your phone, you can see the devices where you have an open session in the Security section. If you lose or steal your mobile, enter your Google account from a computer and close your phone session from there. In this way, nobody will be able to access your email from their mobile. There are even applications that allow you to erase all the content on your phone remotely.
If you are one of those who share your device with another person, your partner, your child, or a friend, activate the second space. Leading companies in the sector, such as Xiaomi and Samsung, already include this function in all their models. Allows you to create an environment from scratch on Android for a second user. So that you cannot see the information in the first space, this functionality is similar to creating a new user on a Windows PC.