Almost everyone uses social media daily, whether it be for work, school, entertainment, or for connecting with friends and family. Many people have important information within their accounts regarding their name, age, where they live, who their friends and family are, where they work, where they went to school, etc. While this information may seem like it doesn’t have much importance, it can easily be used against you.
Every day hackers are working restlessly to get into social media accounts. They will target almost anyone in hopes that they will gain access to their account. Hackers use a variety of different attack methods to gain access to these accounts, and oftentimes, the victim doesn’t know they've been hacked until it’s too late. While this might seem scary, there is still hope. It is up to you to take the necessary precautions to defend your social media accounts from hackers.
The following steps will help prepare you to defend your accounts against hackers and maintain secure account practices.
Have a strong password
While this seems like it would be obvious, many people neglect the importance of having a strong password, which leaves their accounts vulnerable to a breach. To create a strong password, we recommend a combination of procedures. Firstly, make sure that your password is at least 14 characters long. The longer and more complicated the password, the better it is. We also recommend having a mix of special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers. Putting these password procedures in place will drastically reduce the risk of a hacker brute forcing into your account. Another thing to note is that you should always use different passwords for different accounts. If a hacker figures out one account password, this will make it difficult for them to access multiple accounts.
Enable multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication is extremely important when it comes to securing your accounts. MFA provides an extra layer of security so that even if a hacker knows your password, they still have to get past the second form of authentication, which they will likely not have access to. There are several different options for MFA. Some of the most common methods are an authentication app, a physical key, SMS, a phone call, or a list of authentication codes. However, some methods are better than others. We actually do not recommend using SMS for reasons we explain in a previous article.
Designate an email strictly for social media accounts
It is recommended that you have a separate email address reserved just for your social media accounts. This way, even if a hacker gains access to that email, they still won't be able to access any sensitive information that might be on your primary email account.
Only use trusted third-party apps
People often allow third-party apps to access their social media accounts. Hundreds of games on the Google play store and Apple’s app store request that users use their Facebook account to login to the game. Often, users do not pay attention to what information the app is accessing and allow the app to capture personal information. Some apps can be utilized to gain access to your Facebook account to control it and use it maliciously.
Overall, it is vital to take the necessary steps to secure your social media accounts. Implementing the advice above will make it hard for hackers to gain access to your accounts and will help keep your information safe.
Written by Blake Potter
Blake Potter is a Cyber Security Intern at TechGuard Security where he assists with security related tasks. He is currently a senior at Maryville University studying Cyber Security and plans on becoming a security analyst once he graduates. Blake has a background in IT Support, customer service, and Cyber Security support. In his free time, Blake enjoys working out, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family.