Social media is an ever-present aspect of our daily lives whether we like to admit it or not. People turn to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for updates on current events, celebrity news, personal friendships, and even romantic relationships. Because social media sites play such a large role in our day-to-day activity, it is extremely important that your profiles are secure, and that your private information stays protected. Instant Checkmate, a popular resource for online safety and security, has provided a list of their top five social media security tips. Check them out below!
1. Keep Your Facebook Profile Private
Luckily, Facebook allows users to choose how much of their profile is visible to the public. The best way to ensure optimal security is to keep a tight lock on your privacy settings. When you open an account, the default setting on Facebook is public, so you have to manually go in and choose the option for “Friends Only.” To do this, click the gear icon in the top right corner, and select “privacy settings.”
Once you make these changes, the only people who can view your profile are those whom you’ve already accepted as friends.
2. Choose Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are a vital aspect of social media security, but a lot of people unknowingly choose passwords that are weak, or simply too common. Here are a few simple steps to creating a hacker-proof password:
- Create passwords that are at least 9 characters long
- Don’t use any information that can be obtained by searching public records (spouses or kids names, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
- Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters
- Include special characters (@,#,$,!)
3. Use Different Passwords For Different Sites
It’s common for people to have accounts on several different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of people make the mistake of using the exact same password for every site. Recycling passwords weakens your security across the board, and your accounts become easy targets for cybercriminals. If a hacker cracked just one of your passwords, they’d have access to all of your accounts and personal information.
4. Don’t Post About Vacations
When you have a vacation coming up, it’s normal to want to share your excitement with all your friends on your social media. You also might get the urge to post pictures while you’re gone to show everyone how much fun you’re having, but posts like this should be avoided. When you announce your vacation plans, you’re also announcing that your home is going to be empty for an extended period of time. This makes your house an easy target for burglars who lurk around social media sites looking for status updates indicating that the homeowners are away.
5. Keep Track Of Your Followers
On platforms like Twitter, Google+, and the new Myspace, people can follow and connect with you without having to send a request. This means that unless you keep a meticulous count of your followers at all times, you could have tons of strangers connecting to you that you don’t even know about. It’s always smart to go through your followers periodically just to make sure there are no worrisome people who have access to your pictures and updates.
There are several potentially dangerous situations that can arise from being active on social media, which is why security is so important. By following the five tips outlined above, you can enjoy all the fun features social media sites have to offer, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ve taken the steps necessary to protect yourself and keep your information private.
Note: This blog is provided by Instant Checkmate, who is responsible for its contents.