How secure is your social media?
We all like to think that we’ve taken all the precautions we can to avoid allowing anyone to access our smartphone, tablet or desktop PC but have you considered whether your social media accounts are secure?
While no account can be 100% secure there are a variety of steps we can take to make it as secure as we can. Here are just a few to get you thinking…
1. Stronger Passwords
Stop using the simplistic passwords like ‘password123’, ‘password’ or ‘123456ABC’ yes, they might be easy to remember but that’s the inherent problem – these all use simple ‘patterns’ that are easy for hackers to guess. Ideally try to use a ‘password vault’ that generates longer secure passwords that are harder to guess. There’s a host of ‘password vaults’ available, one of the most popular is 1Password which can generate strong passwords and store them safely until you need them.
Another alternative is the three random words option which HM Government is championing at the moment at https://www.cyberstreetwise.com/passwords
2. Keep them fresh
Try to change the passwords on all your social accounts at regular intervals. Password managers can make quick work of this potentially time consuming task. In addition to making it harder for anyone to guess your password changing your passwords also hinders former employees, who may have known the passwords, from accessing your accounts and posting unwanted content.
3. Be careful what you click
We’ve all experienced phishing emails asking you to click to verify your bank or eBay details or that your account has been suspended – well you can also get these on social media. Often these phishing attempts are in the form of malicious links in a tweet or post from someone you don’t know or that have no additional content or just seem out of place for that user. Other examples are click baiting or #hashtag hijacking. Remember if you’re not sure or it’s too good to be true – don’t click it. Using a third-party social media management application to manage all your social accounts in one place can give you some additional security as some of these are designed to spot malicious links and alert you before it’s too late. In the end use your common sense and you can’t go far wrong.
4. Account contact info
Most social media platforms will ask for an email address or mobile number that they’ll use in the event of an issue. For instance Twitter asks for a mobile number to associate with your account as they’ll use this to contact you via a txt message should you have issues accessing your account or suspect fraudulent usage. In some cases this is the only way they’ll contact you, so if you don’t enter one you could be left high and dry! Always periodically check your account details to ensure they’re up to date – yes it’s tedious but you might just be glad you did check them if you have an issue.
At the end of the day all social media platforms want you to have a good user experience so check their support pages for additional ways to secure your accounts. Well that wraps up my tips for securing your social media account. There are obviously lots more that I could have touched on but hopefully these few tips will help make you think a bit more about your accounts, what you do on them and who has access to them.
If you want help with your social media or more advice on Twitter, get in touch with me at http://paulkirkdesign.co.uk or at @PKirk_designer
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