How to secure your social media

Posted July 19th, 2022 by SimpliSafe

The number of social media users globally is ever increasing, and with a reported 4.62 billion individuals currently making full use of a growing list of apps, there’s no signs of our digital world halting. Although social media does carry several benefits - such as keeping up-to-date with family and friends - there are potentially serious risks to keep a constant eye out for. By sharing snaps and statuses, you could end up unintentionally revealing too much about yourself, so much so that data breaches or identity theft is more likely to occur. 

So, how can you make the most of your social media accounts, without risking your security? This is our advice for staying safe online.

Create a strong password

How many times have you been tempted to set your password as ‘password’ or something really obvious, because it’s quick and easy? Unfortunately, if it’s easy for you to remember, it’s probably just as easy for a hacker to guess. 

Some tips on how to create a strong password (and remember it) are:

  • Make it a long one, ideally no shorter than five characters 

  • Set-up two-factor authentication - this is a secondary login method to be used as well as your password. This could be having a temporary passcode sent to your mobile number, or having your fingerprint scanned

  • Change your password regularly 

  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts 

  • Install a password manager - used to automatically generate and store passwords in one protected place

Use public computers safely

If you do choose to use a public computer, bear in mind that certain cyber security risks are increased. These risks include: 

  • People peering at your monitor to view sensitive information 

  • Using public WiFi, which can enable people to view your internet activity 

  • People having access to your browsing history 

  • Having personal information, or passwords and logins stolen

There are times where there is no other option but to use a public computer, so if you do find yourself in this scenario, be mindful. Make sure to always log out after you’ve finished using the device, delete your browsing history, avoid inputting any financial details, and don’t save files - use a flash drive if needed. Also, keep an eye on who’s looking over your shoulder. 

Protect personal information

With individuals taking to Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and various other socials, it’s easier than ever to get a sneak peek into someone’s life. Although we’re not saying that you need to put a pause on posting altogether, it is good practice to ensure that your social media account is as secure as possible.

For instance, if you’re planning a holiday and head to your socials to share the exciting news, you’re also revealing that your home will be temporarily unoccupied - making it a prime target. To avoid this, always think carefully before posting, and consider who has access to your account - set it to private for an added layer of protection, and block any suspicious individuals. Furthermore, if you are going on holiday in the near future, make sure to protect your home with an advanced security system - using devices such as entry sensors, and indoor and outdoor security cameras for complete peace of mind. 

Be wary of social media phishing

Social media phishing is a very real issue, and in a world that’s more connected than ever, do you really trust who’s landed in your inbox? A fake account might send you a dodgy link, directing you to a website which aims to access personal information, alongside causing device infection. Or, you might be urged to respond to a fake customer service account, by which a fraudulent support link or dodgy phone number is supplied, resulting in a hefty phone bill. 

To avoid falling into this dangerous trap, always be cautious when you receive a message out of the blue, that’s similar to the above. Look out for bad spelling and grammatical mistakes, unrealistic threats or demands, deals or giveaways that appear too good to be true, and always be suspicious of anyone who asks for your personal information online. 

Don’t stop at social media security. Ensure that your home is completely protected with a SimpliSafe system - a completely customisable option that is built based on your unique requirements. Get in touch with a member of our team today to find out more.