To some, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a necessity for communication. More so, it seems like all other internet applications use Facebook permissions to log in. Because these networks are prevalent in our everyday lives, it’s important to understand a few social media safety tips.
Here are 10 things you can do right now to have a safer social media experience.
1: Check your privacy settings
The fewer people that have access to your data the better. Even if you feel that sharing a few posts is no big deal, essentially the details add up. A person that knows how to analyze public accounts can usually tell where the person visits on a regular basis. They are able to learn the names of family members and other critical data. Be sure to check your privacy settings and refrain from making it public.
Is social media making you unemployable? Read our related article here.
2: Require two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication remains as one of the top social media safety tips. When enabled, a special login code is required each time someone tries accessing from an unrecognized device. Typically in the form of text alerts, a user is notified of any new attempts to log into their account. Without the code, access is denied.
3: Use an uncommon password
Passwords are the strongest when they contain alpha and numeric characters. Additionally, avoid using guessable numbers such as birthdays or anniversaries. It’s also a good idea to change your social media passwords on a regular basis.
4: Delete random friend requests
If you receive friend requests from unknown people, it’s best to delete them. They are most likely spam or scammers. Some red flags include:
– No mutual friends
– A newly activated account
– Only 1 profile photo
– Lives in a location that you have never been to
Furthermore, be wary of copycat accounts. Let’s say you are already friends with Joe Smith. They post every day and have an active account. Suddenly, Joe Smith friend requests you again from a second account. This duplicate is most likely fictitious.
5: Share with diligence
It’s great to share our life events with friends and family; however, make sure to do it with diligence. As part of our article about social media safety tips, we suggest being aware of sensitive information. Things such as your address, email, or phone number should be provided offline.
6: Be link savvy
Before following any links that pop up on your timeline, review where they go. If it’s to an unknown source, it’s better to keep scrolling. Clickbait and junk articles account for a large number of imposter sites designed to steal your data. Furthermore, some of these sites aim to disrupt politics with false information. Take the time to consider before clicking.
7: Pass on the free WiFi
Using an unsecured wireless connection leaves you vulnerable to hacks. If you must access your social media accounts on the go, it’s best to do so using your own cellular signal. Read more about cyber security on our related article featuring the risks of using coffee shop hot spots here.
8: Avoid quizzes that want access to your profile
Not only is this invasive, but it’s also a method to obtain your information. Even with the assurance that the app will not post to your profile, there’s still too much of your critical data at stake.
9: Ignore generic message requests
If an unknown person message requests you without explaining the reason, we suggest to ignore them. Sometimes, scammers will start with a generic sentence, just to get you to respond. Once you allow them to contact you, they usually follow up with a purchase offer.
In addition, be aware of multi-level marketing scams that use flattery or friendliness as icebreakers. Once they have your interest in the conversation, the next step includes getting you to click links or provide information. Do not fall for it.
10: Take off your geotag on pictures
It may be fun to snap a pic inside your favorite shopping store but geotagging while you’re there is unwise. Remember how we stated above that posts can be analyzed for patterns? The same can happen for pictures.
Use these social media security tips now
Using the best social media safety tips and tricks from above will help you avoid common internet related issues. While our favorite networking platforms are working hard to provide safer usage, it is up to us to stay conscientious with our data.