Social media is an inevitable part of our lives. Networking apps such as Facebook, twitter and Instagram is very popular and not just with millennials and Get Z but with older generations too. With literally billions of people using and signing up to these apps everyday a lot of our personal information are being shared and uploaded as well as collected for economic purposes.
Social media is a platform that can be very useful if navigated properly but it also has a lot of drawbacks. With e-commerce on the rise, hackers and identity thieves are provided with limitless opportunities to cause harm.
Nowadays people are more into creating a social media presence and posting pictures, locations and creating more digital updates than ever.
This has made very important to pay attention to online security and privacy. Here are some practical tips on how to stay safer and more secure on social media.
- Pay attention to privacy settings
Every social media platform has privacy settings that can be customized according to our comfort level. We have the power and choice to decide who can view our posts, friend lists and pages you follow or like. We can also limit friend requests and prevent people from seeing your email address and other personal information.
- Don’t reveal everything
Contrast to popular trends we do not have to post everything we did, ate, etc on social media. Posting photos of your home or sharing locations and addresses of your work or residence is a big no. As benign as it may seem, such practices could put you in harm’s way.
- Choose friends carefully
An average social media user is glad to see new friend requests. After all, you want to feel acknowledged and appreciated by your peers. But popularity isn’t everything. A best practice is to only accept friend requests from people you know or have met in real life.
- Links May Lead to Malware
When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete or ignore it.
- Strengthen Passwords
We saved the best for last. Most hackers use gigantic databases to break passwords; a weak password will increase the odds of your account being accessed. A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!