Billions of people across the globe spend time on social media networks each day, but many don’t realize that these platforms often contain public personal data that hackers can use to build a profile
of you. For example, many Facebook
profiles contain information like birthdays, hometowns, past schools, children’s names, maiden names and more. If your social media accounts are not private, hackers have access to any information listed there.
Unfortunately, security concerns related to social media platforms
have only increased with time. Hackers have become more sophisticated, so it’s important to brush up on the best ways to protect yourself online.
Social Media Security
With the threat of identity theft
, social media presents unique security concerns. This is why it’s more important than ever to be aware of what you post, and who is able to see it. Here are some tips to consider:
TikTok Presents Significant Security Concerns
- Review your privacy settings on each social media network. Limiting the visibility of your social media profiles and posts is a good way to help prevent criminals from getting their hands on your personal information.
- Review your “friends” list. Locking down your social media privacy settings won’t do any good if you accept friend requests from unknown individuals. Make it a regular habit to examine your social media connections and remove any suspicious profiles. You should also decline friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Watch what you post, and where you post. Keep in mind that even if you have privacy settings on your social media profile, the comments you make on public posts can be viewed by anyone. Even if you think you’re writing something harmless, consider what information you might be revealing. Mentioning things like your employer, your child’s school, or the name of your street could be very helpful to a hacker.
TikTok is a Chinese-owned social media network that allows users to upload short videos. More than a billion people use TikTok worldwide, with approximately 135 million of those users coming from the United States. What many don’t know is that the U.S. government has some serious concerns about TikTok. One fear is that the Chinese government could use TikTok
to influence U.S. policies and spread dangerous propaganda about the country. Another concern is the sheer amount of data that TikTok can collect.
Here are five steps you can take to help safeguard your privacy on TikTok:
Lock Down Your Social Media Accounts
- Disable the setting to share information about your contacts with the website
- Make your “likes” visible only to users who follow you
- Maintain an anonymous profile
- Limit options for people to find you on the website
Another threat of social media is having your profile taken over by a hacker. Not only is this inconvenient and unsettling but having your social media account compromised gives a hacker access to everything in it, including all of your posts, messages, and photos, as well as your phone number, email address, and in some cases even your credit card details. For this reason, it’s crucial to have strong protection on your social media accounts. Here are some tips:
- Create strong, unique passwords for each account. Most people know that they should avoid using the same password across online accounts, however nearly 60% of people say they share passwords across sites because they are afraid of not remembering multiple passwords. The good news is that there are several password management options out there that can help you juggle multiple strong passwords. The strongest passwords are at least 12 characters long and contain letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. Make it harder for crooks to get into your account by enabling multi-factor authentication. With this setting in place, the social media network will send you a one-time code via text, phone call, or email that you must enter before logging in. This can help protect your account in the event that a hacker does figure out your password.
- Guard your email account. Many people don’t realize how much damage a hacker could do by gaining access to your email account. If able to access your email account a hacker could reset all of your social media passwords – not to mention your logins for other online accounts. For this reason, it’s crucial to have a strong, unique password and enable multi-factor authentication for your email accounts and well as your social media profiles.
Social media has become a huge part of our everyday lives, but it’s extremely important to be vigilant and on guard. Review your social media profiles, settings, and behaviors so you don’t leave yourself vulnerable to identity theft, hackers, and fraud. You should also be aware of current social media scams
making the rounds, as well as vulnerabilities that hackers could try to exploit. And lastly, know the signs of a possible hack
so you know what to look out for. The sooner you can identify an account compromise, the better chance you have of limiting the damage.