Data Privacy? How to Secure your Social Media Accounts

How to protect your personal data online

In an age where people live and breathe social media 24/7, it is important to be more mindful of the activities we do online. With numerous threats of surveillance, data breaches, hacking, and the rise of fake accounts, it is but proper to practice more vigilance with the sharing of personal information, even opinion, in the digital world.

How to secure your social media accounts against hacks and data breaches

The moment we create our social media accounts, we are already putting our personal data at risk. Nonetheless, there are several ways on how we can minimize these risks and make it extremely difficult for hackers to hack or infiltrate data from our social media accounts. Here’s how.

  1. Check the privacy of your social media account.

Keeping a low profile on social media does not only make your life more productive, but it also keeps you away from the toxics of it – people, fake news, excessive consumerism, and unauthorized surveillance from hackers. Making sure that your audience in social media is limited to your friends and family somehow withholds the risks.

You can limit the access of unknown guests to your Facebook account by configuring your past posts. This can be done by checking the settings of your Facebook account and hovering around the “Privacy” of your posts. There you can manage the data that you want to share, set alerts of unauthorized logins, or even clear your off-Facebook activity (which are duly recorded when you access other apps or websites that require signups).

  1. Create strong passwords.

Relevant information, such as birthdates or number combinations, is probably the easiest passwords to guess when hacking your account. To avoid this, use long passwords with a combination of numbers, letters in upper and lowercase, and symbols. Most importantly, your email and online banking accounts should have the strongest passwords given that they hold your most valuable information.

Note: Do change your password regularly as well to add an extra layer of security to your account.

  1. Set up a two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication method.

To further strengthen the security of your accounts, set up a two-factor authentication method wherein you get to be asked to enter a validation code after logging in using your username and password. Several sites are offering already this countermeasure. After registering your email address or phone number, you will get an authentication code upon logging in. This way, you also get alerts when someone else is trying to log in to your account because they would need the code (sent to your number or email) to access your account.

  1. Be careful when using Third-party applications.

Sure it’s easier and more convenient to create new accounts on various apps and websites by simply linking them to your Facebook and Google account. But how certain are you that these apps and sites are credible? That they won’t use your data for something else? So before signing up, make sure that you are fully aware of the information that these apps and websites are getting from you.

  1. Never click strange links.

Sure it gets overwhelming to see “Claim freebies” or “You win an iPhone” type of messages in your email or messenger. Then you click on their link and then input some personal information into their site, and viola! you have been phished. Phishing attack is a hacking strategy wherein you are sent to a legitimate-looking, dummy sites wherein you are invited to enter your confidential data not knowing that they go directly to the hacker.

The easiest way to get rid of these scams is simply not clicking on those links and downloading those attachments without fully knowing where they are coming from.

  1. Do not connect to public/unsecured WiFi

Automatically connecting to public WiFi may increase your cybersecurity risks. While it’s convenient and cost-effective, many people with ill intentions can use this in manipulating connections, stealing personal information from your device, and intercepting your internet activity. As much as possible, do away with making confidential transactions using public WiFis.

While it’s easy to dismiss this information as you don’t find yourself susceptible to these risks, who knows what’s running on the minds of those trolls and hackers. As they say, prevention is always, always better than cure. Make sure to keep your data private and protect your social media accounts. You don’t want to be tagged as the next “terrorist”, right? Better be safe than sorry.