Five important tips to protect your social media accounts from cybercrime

As the world continues to get even more digital, social media has become one of the many ways to connect with each other. People connect with families, share photos, videos and messages using social media.

According to Hootsuite’s latest social media report, there are approximately 4.2 billion social media users. These users, although some may represent businesses, organizations, or other non-human entities, represent real people who connect with other users on a daily basis.

However, as advancements in technology and the use of social media increase, various crimes and unethical habits related to the internet or social media are also taking new forms. The most common crimes on social media are identity theft and “phishing”.

Phishing is a cybercrime in which one or more targets are contacted by email, phone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to trick individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, information banking and credit card and passwords.

These crimes can occur when attackers gain access to your social media accounts. In this report, Dubawa Ghana has compiled five ways to secure your social media accounts.

1. Enable two-factor authentication on all accounts (2FA)

An effective way to protect any social media account is to enable two-factor authentication in your account. Two-factor authentication allows secondary access to web services for the account owner to verify a login attempt. In most cases, this is a phone number and / or an email address.

When a new device or Internet Protocol (IP) address tries to connect to a social network account, you use your mobile phone to verify your identity by clicking on a text link or emailed or typing in a number. sent by an authenticator application. . This invites an account owner to log in from anywhere in the world.

In addition to linking your phone number to your two-factor authentication, a very effective way is to use an authenticator app. This is useful when there is no cellular access. Some authenticator apps include Duo, Google Authenticator, and Authy.

To enable your two-factor authentication, check the “security” section of your “settings” on any social network service you’ve signed into.

2. Choose a strong password

Probably the first step in making sure your account is secure, choosing a strong password is very important. Always try to use passwords that are difficult to guess, even by your very close friends and family.

Don’t use popular jargon that you share with other people. Try to mix alphabets, numbers and symbols in your password and try to change it often as much as possible. You must choose a password that you will remember.

Do not write passwords in calendars or in places accessible to other people. On some social media platforms like Facebook, you are allowed to use your account to log into other social media apps like Instagram with the same user information. It is advisable not to do this.

Use Facebook credentials only for Facebook. This will prevent hackers who have access to your Facebook from logging into your other social media accounts such as Facebook with the same details,

3. Know how many devices are connected to your account

Try as much as possible to always know how many devices are logged into your social media accounts and where the devices are located. Once you notice an unrecognized device from a location that you are not sure about, sign out of that device. On Facebook and other social media apps, you can find it in the “Security & Sign In” section in your settings. The screenshot below is an example of how this setting will look on Facebook.

4. Avoid access to third-party apps or websites

Every now and then, take an inventory of your social media accounts to see if there are any third-party apps that you’ve granted access to your personal social media account. For example, there are websites that require you to sign in with a social media account.

Make sure you are ok with the information they access from your profile / social account as it can be gateways to your account for hackers. If there are any you no longer use, delete them.

On Facebook, for example, you can check this in the “apps & websites” section of your settings. Delete any app or website that you are unsure of. This applies to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

5. Create unique emails for your social media accounts

If possible, create a dedicated email specifically for your social media accounts. With this, if your social media accounts are compromised, hackers will not have access to any valuable information from your important personal emails.

These tips, while not exhaustive, will help you take control of your social media accounts and prevent you from falling victim to cybercrime.

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About Marion Browning

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