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Be Social. Be Secure.

Be Social. Be Secure.

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How can you protect your accounts?

Social media profiles are effective tools that may be used to connect with loved ones, stay informed of events, and keep up with current affairs.To ensure that no one else can access your personal information and that your accounts do not get into the wrong hands,

it is crucial to understand how to manage the security and privacy settings on your accounts and how to safeguard your social media accounts from hackers and attacks.
Beyond the sheer quantity of users, there is also the matter of how much time we spend on social media. The average person uses social media for 147 minutes every day. That number can vary greatly, with users in the U.S. spending little more than two hours per day on social media and users in the Philippines spending nearly four hours per day. But it's safe to say that we spend a significant amount of time each day reading and paging through our social media feeds. Given how much we use and enjoy social media, now is a good time to examine your social media settings and routines so that you can make the most of it with the least amount of hassle and concern [1].
There are a number of things you can take to keep yourself safe and secure online, whether you use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or other apps:

Create solid, distinctive passwords:

Passwords are the first line of defense in terms of security; they should be strong and unique across all of your accounts. It is tempting to use short, reused passwords, especially when managing hundreds of strong, unique passwords for multiple accounts can be cumbersome. However, this makes it easier for hackers to gain access to multiple accounts, as a single password can unlock many doors. To avoid this, consider using a password manager to generate and securely store strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts.

Go private

You can choose to make your profile and posts available to friends only on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others. By selecting this option, you can preserve your privacy by preventing other internet users from seeing what you are doing, saying, and posting.

Tell strangers carrying friend requests "no":

Be careful while evaluating the invitations you get. Outright strangers may be more than just a stranger; they may be a fake account created with the intention of gathering user data for the purposes of cybercrime or they may be an account created with the intention of disseminating incorrect information. Refuse these requests.

Reconsider your decision to check-in:

Like that picture of you on vacation or revealing your location when you're out on the town, nothing shouts "there is nobody at home right now" like that. Such posts essentially serve as an announcement of your whereabouts to a sizable following (or perhaps the entire world, if you are not posting secretly, as mentioned above). Once you have returned, think about posting pictures and accounts of your adventures.

The internet never expires:

It is well-known for a reason. What you post can be kept and shared again, regardless of whether your profile is set to private or if you are using an app that allows for "disappearing" messages and posts (like Snapchat). Simply snapping a screenshot will do. Simply don not upload it if you do not want it to be visible forever or otherwise.

Be wary about phishing scams:

Even though we've grown accustomed to hearing cautions about phishing emails, there are still many instances of phishing attacks on social media. The same laws are in effect. Don't click any links you get over instant or direct messaging from strangers. Likewise, safeguard your private information. Don't give away your email, address, or any other personal information. Even those ostensibly "quiz" posts and websites may be ruses created to capture little amounts of personal data that could be the starting point of an attack.

Keep a watch out for any type of scams:

Sadly, social media can occasionally be used as a place where people deceive others. Get-rich-quick schemes, romance frauds, and other imposters might up shop in advertising, posts, and even direct messages; they are often created with the intention of stealing your money, personal information, or both. You can find a lot more information about quizzes and other identity theft schemes to avoid on social media, which is a whole separate topic [2].
Finally, social media is not an exception to the rule that the internet may be dangerous. Cybercriminals aiming to steal data will continue to use social media as a playground as it develops. However, if you are aware of the risks and take precautions to reduce them, social media can be relatively safe. Although not all-inclusive, following the simple instructions above will go a long way toward keeping your social network accounts safe and private [3].

References:

  • Sarah M. Coyne, Adam A. Rogers, Jessica D. Zurcher, Laura Stockdale, McCall Booth, “Does time spent using social media impact mental health?: An eight year longitudinal study”, Computers in Human Behavior, volume 104, 2020.
  • M. A. N. U. Ghani, E. Farooq and K. Asghar, "A Contextual Approach Protecting Online Privacy, A Crucial Need," 2019 International Conference on Innovative Computing (ICIC), Lahore, Pakistan, 2019.
  • Park, June Young, et al. "Toward human-centric urban infrastructure: Text mining for social media data to identify the public perception of COVID-19 policy in transportation hubs." Sustainable Cities and Society, volume 76, 2022.