The use of social media platforms is extremely important to our day-to-day activities. The majority of us keep in touch with the people we care about through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. According to Statistica, in 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media, and websites that are part of social media offer an ideal environment for identity theft. Because social media platforms have access to a massive user database that contains private information, it is their duty to ensure that users’ private data remains secure.
Millions of people lose their identities or have their personal information stolen every single year. It occurs when you let your guard down and place an excessive amount of reliance on these platforms for the protection of your data. Safety online is the most difficult task, but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself when using social media.
Here are five things you can do to protect the privacy of your personal information while still reaping the benefits of developing relationships through social media:
1. Make use of a password that is difficult to guess and use a reliable password manager
Multiple social media accounts are used by individuals for a variety of reasons. Despite this, the security of your account could be at risk if you use a password that is easily cracked. In addition, hackers are able to access all of your accounts if you use the same password for many accounts; this is a common practice.
Make sure that every single one of your social media accounts has a password that is both unique and secure. It is required that your password contain not only digits but also words, both capital and lowercase letters, and any unusual characters. If you use a password that is difficult to crack, it will be more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your account. Change your password at least once a month. You should make every effort to use unique passwords for each of your social media accounts. You can use password managers if you are having difficulty keeping track of all of your different passwords.
2. Make sure that two-factor authentication is turned on for each account
Enabling two-factor authentication in your social media account is an efficient method for enhancing the security of any social media profile. Web services can grant secondary access to the account owner using two-factor authentication in order to authenticate a login attempt. This access can only be used by the account owner. In the vast majority of instances, this necessitates a telephone number and/or an email address. You must use your mobile phone to verify your identity whenever a new device or Internet Protocol (I.P) address attempts to log in to any social media account. You can do this by either clicking on a link sent to you via text message or email, or typing in a number that is sent to you by an authenticator app. This requires the owner of any account to log in, and they can do it from any location in the world.
In addition to associating your phone number with your two-factor authentication, utilizing an authenticator app is another very efficient method that may be used. When there is no access to cellphone service, this comes in handy. Apps such as Duo, Authy, and Google Authenticator are examples of authenticator applications.
3. Use a VPN
You can use a technology for encrypting data known as a virtual private network (VPN) if you want to ensure the safety of your connections, including calls, texts, and messages. Using a virtual private network (VPN) enables you to encrypt your communications and keep them private. Between the websites you visit and the VPN service you use, all of your data will be encrypted and transmitted through a tunnel that is highly secure.
4. Do not access any websites or apps belonging to third parties
Keep track of all of your social media accounts at regular intervals to determine whether or not you have authorized any third-party apps to access your personal social media profile. If you have, this is something that should be resolved quickly. For instance, there are websites that demand that you sign in using an account that you already have with a social media platform. As social profiles and accounts can serve as entry points for hackers to your account, you should check that you are comfortable with the information that others have access to when they use them. Delete any that you find you are no longer making use of at this time. If you want to check this on Facebook, for instance, go to the “apps and websites” area of your preferences and look there. Get rid of any app or website that you are unsure about. This is also true for platforms such as Twitter and Instagram that are part of the social media ecosystem.
5. Ensure that your anti-virus software is always up to date
Make sure the antivirus software on your system is always up to date. Never use a computer that can connect to the internet without first installing security software that protects against malware and viruses. There is a wide variety of antivirus software available, both paid and free. Use antivirus programs to protect both your internet activities and the data that is most important to you on your mobile devices.