Social media can be a great tool. It helps you keep in touch with friends and extended family members that you may not see often. It’s a place to connect with new people and groups and keep up to date with what’s happening in your local community or with your favourite brands. It can provide lots of entertainment and inspiration.
However, it can pose some security threats to your personal data and information. Think about what someone could find out about you by looking on your social media pages; your birthday, name of your pet, your mother’s maiden name, where you live, the school you went to, your photos.
To help you stay safe online, Our MOIRA Business Solutions team have compiled some expert top tips to help keep your data secure:
Use unique passwords for each social network
Don’t use the same password for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other social network. Hackers love a single password. When they gain access to one, they have access to all your social media accounts.
Make sure your password is at least 8 characters long and contains both upper and lowercase letters and numbers, as well as at least one special character.
Do not use something a hacker could easily obtain like your surname or school you went to.
Turn on Two-Factor Authentication
A recommended security feature is two-step verification, also known as two-factor authentication (2FA).
It requires anyone attempting to access an account to provide additional proof of authenticity via a second step.
In most cases, the second step requires the person to enter a code that has been sent to the account owner’s phone or email. An account can only be accessed once this code has been entered.
In essence, two-step verification provides an additional layer of security.
Below are links to guides developed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) showing how to turn 2FA on in popular social media accounts:
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Apple ID
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Facebook
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Facebook Messenger
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Gmail
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – LinkedIn
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Instagram
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Microsoft Accounts
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Twitter
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – WhatsApp
- Turning on Two-Factor Authentication – Yahoo!
Ensure your phone locks
Always enable the passcode lock on your phone and set it to time out at no more than a few minutes. This will help prevent someone who has obtained your phone from accessing your email address, targeting your friends using your profile as bait, or even changing your password.
When creating a password, be careful not to use something that could be easily guessed, such as your birthday or anniversary. This information can be easy to find on social media, especially when all your friends wish you a happy birthday or congratulate you on your anniversary milestone.
Don’t be too personal & set your profile to private
Attackers will use whatever information they can obtain from your public profiles – date of birth, education, or interests to try to get access to your accounts. This is also known as social engineering. Think about how many services/platforms use first pet or school name as security questions.
Set your social media accounts to “private” and restrict access to your personal details such as birthdays, contact details, photos, posts or prevent tagging by others to “friends only” in your account privacy settings.
To help get you started, here are some popular social media sites’ step-by-step privacy check-up guides:
Stay safe and social
– MOIRA Business Solutions Team