Studies show that 36% of Americans have had their online accounts hacked; 14% have had them hacked more than once. While you may not give it much thought, social media security is of the utmost importance.
You may think: all hackers will get are your silly quiz answers. Or at most, they’ll get to read conversations between you and your close friends.
But if your sensitive details fall into the wrong hands, you may run the risk of not only a compromised Facebook account but other accounts as well, such as your bank or credit card account. This is because passwords and security questions usually involve personal details that only you would know…unless a hacker gets access to your Facebook account.
If you want to be proactive and protect your social media from prying eyes, here are 5 essential social media security tips to maintain your privacy.
1. Use Different Passwords Across Your Accounts
It may be a lot easier to use one password across your multiple online accounts, but this would have a devastating effect should one get compromised.
Once a hacker gets their hands on your password, they usually try the same email/username and password combination across different sites. You may think that Facebook isn’t working since you can’t log in, but the fact is, the hacker’s gotten into your account and changed the password.
Not only that, but they may gain access to other important accounts, such as your bank account. From here, they can transfer money to themselves (or gather other important bits of information on other sites).
If you have any non-bank accounts that have a balance, they can either take advantage of that or transfer it to themselves as well. For example, if you enjoy playing a video game with your grandchildren through Steam, the hacker can hijack the account and transfer valuable items to their own account.
It may be more difficult to use different passwords across all your accounts, but this will upgrade your social media security immensely. If you have trouble remembering all your passwords, try using a secure password manager. This convenient add-on will store all of your passwords and is encrypted so no one can steal them.
2. Limit Your Public Information
It can be quite exciting to fill out as much information as you can on your Facebook profile. For instance, if you graduated in the ’72 class of a particular high school, filling out that detail can help you connect with others in your graduating class.
But leaving this information public can inadvertently lead to your accounts being compromised. For example, if your security question for your bank account is “What year did I graduate from high school?” then hackers can easily find that information by plugging in your name into Facebook’s search bar.
You can prevent this from happening by limiting your public information. You can achieve this in several ways.
The first way is by leaving your personal information blank on Facebook. However, this may not be ideal, as it can hinder your networking efforts.
The second way is to fill out your information, but to put the privacy settings from “public” to “friends only.” That way, only people you’ve screened for your friend list can see your personal details.
3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Normally, you’d only need a username/email and password to log into an account. But if you enable two-factor authentication, you’ll also need a time-sensitive code to input. Each time you log in, you’ll be sent a randomly generated code through either text or email.
Two-factor authentication may seem like a pain to deal with, but it can act as a second gatekeeper for hackers. If they somehow manage to get your password, they still won’t be able to access your accounts since they can’t obtain the code.
If someone tries to access your account but fails two-factor authentication, Facebook (and other sites with this feature) will let you know. If you get a notification of a failed log-in, it’s best to change all your passwords, to be on the safe side.
4. Only Accept Friend Requests From People You Know
It can be amazing to make friends from all around the world with the click of a button. Social media offers you a convenient glimpse into cultures from all around the world.
But that doesn’t mean you should accept any and all friend requests. Many of these people are scammers are hoping to gain access to your private information.
If you want to make friends who don’t live anywhere near, trying joining a Facebook group first. For instance, if you love crocheting, join one for crochet lovers.
Once you’re in, you may find someone who you click with and converse a lot with about patterns and projects. After you’ve gotten to know them and screen them as a real person, you can then consider sending a friend request. Or you can leave the conversations in the Facebook group for maximum security.
5. Disable Location Sharing
Modern technology’s made it easy for us to check into or tag locations we’re currently in. It can be beneficial if you’re planning on making a geographic diary later on.
But the location sharing feature can be a disadvantage. Even if your posts aren’t public, all the people on your friend’s list know you’re not at home. Some of the more unsavory characters may use this opportunity to rob your house.
If you still want to keep a geo diary, take pictures and don’t post them on your social media—at least not immediately. The photos will have the geo data automatically saved if you haven’t turned that feature off (it’ll show exactly when and where you took the picture). Once you’re safely home, then you can post the pictures on your Facebook account.
Keep Your Accounts Safe With These Social Media Security Tips
Social media seems like a fun way to connect with, and it can be. But unfortunately, there will always be unscrupulous people who try and gather as much information about you so they have a better chance of phishing you.
By following the simple social media security tips we’ve outlined for you above, you’ll have a better chance of keeping unsavory characters away from your personal information.
Have any more questions regarding your Facebook account? We’re here to help! All you have to do is ask our experts and they’ll help you promptly!