To your dismay and to hackers’ delights, there’s no type of protection that can completely keep your social media accounts secured. However, there are certain ways of making sure they are as bulletproof as possible. Use these 8 methods to secure your social media accounts and prevent malicious cyber-attacks.
1. Lock your devices
It’s easy to misplace or lose your electronic devices, so it’s imperative that you keep them password protected. Whether you accidentally leave it on a desk or lose it at a store, anyone can peek into it if you’re not there. Make sure you protect each electronic device with a passcode so that your social media accounts don’t get snooped on. Additionally, implement extra measures of security such as a quick lock time or hibernation. For extra protection, you can even secure your devices with your fingerprint or picture code. Many of the most recent electronics offer these features.
You might be the only owner of your devices, but there’s always a chance someone around you might not resist the temptation to cause you a bit of trouble.
2. Always log yourself out
Most people these days keep their passwords automatically saved so that logging into Facebook or Twitter is as easy as a simple click. However, this comfort might cause you real headache if someone gets access to the device. Twitter or Facebook hacking would be quite easy if a stranger could just open your browser and have your account already logged in.
What should you do, then? No matter how annoying it might be to type in your password every time you want to check your social media, don’t keep your password automatically saved and always log out.
3. Clean up your applications
You don’t have to do much to link your Facebook or Twitter account to an application. Since it’s extremely easy to do, it’s always very easy to accumulate all sorts of applications you don’t even need (or want). Browse through your applications list and clean out all the ones that are no longer of use to you.
Remember that third-party apps are often swarming with potential hackers. They could take advantage of having access to your account and compromise not only yours, but also your friends’ accounts. Make sure the applications you have linked to your Facebook or Twitter are absolutely necessary, as even popular ones can house some malicious cyber-attackers.
4. Set up an extra verification process
You might want to set up a two-step verification process for Facebook, Twitter, etc. This essentially forces you to supply the social media website with an extra passcode if the website detects that you’re trying to log in from a different device. In fact, this process is offered on other popular websites as well.
If you’d like to know more about how to secure your social media by using the two-step verification, check out the setup process for your accounts. It is offered by popular outlets like Google+, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Dropbox, etc.
5. Be conservative with your clicks
Stop and think before you click on any random link or button online, especially in e-mails. Keep in mind that hackers could have even taken over your friend’s account, and the link your “friend” sent you might sneak malware into your computer.
If you aren’t completely sure of a certain URL you’ve received, compose a brand new message asking about it. Another option you have if the e-mail is apparently sent by a popular business is going to the website directly instead of being redirected through a link. This is the best way to avoid potential hackers.
E-mail and social media security is indeed tough, but there are always ways to get around it. Skilled hackers might find it easy to send you these phishing links, and depend on you clicking them to succeed in their tasks. Don’t click on URLs you don’t recognize, and you can take a step closer in securing your e-mail.
6. Access encrypted webpages
Whenever you visit your social media accounts, ensure that the URLs start with “HTTPS,” rather than just “HTTP.” The extra “s” means that it’s a secure page and will be encrypted for extra protection.
The other option you have is to use software like Hotspot Shield to automatically encrypt your Internet connection. This will help secure your social media accounts, regardless of whether your Internet is wired or wireless.
7. Avoid simple passwords
You don’t have to create extremely complicated passwords, but it will be helpful to avoid using easy ones like your favorite color or phone number. Hackers will have a much harder time trying to access your account if you use a password like “2JG19_mcam.” Additionally, make sure you have different passwords for every account. Don’t use the same complicated one for all of them.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to remember all your complicated social media passwords, you might want to use a password manager that securely keeps them handy.
8. Password resets and account restoration
If you suspect your Twitter or Facebook has been hacked and you can’t seem to log in, the first thing you’ll probably do is reset the password. The problem is that the e-mail linked to the account might have also been changed by the cyber-attacker.
Check whether the social media websites offer extra security in restoring an account. If they do, make sure you get them implemented. For example, Facebook provides a Trusted Contacts feature for compromised accounts. This will secure your social media accounts much more efficiently.
What do you do to ensure your social media accounts secured? Share your ideas in comments.