The Importance of Securing Your Social Media Profile, by Malwarebytes
The internet would not be the powerful and sophisticated tool that it is today if we did not use it to share information in the way that we do. However, sharing is not always a good thing and, when it comes to our social media profiles, can be a great primary source of online scams, phishes and security attacks. You would probably not be surprised by just how much information can be sourced from across our various social media accounts to provide cyber criminals with the basic data needed for password recovery, identity theft and confidence scams. What might surprise you is how exposed most of us are to these underhand attacks when we think we have secured our profiles.
The problem is that all of these social media platforms are designed on one common principle which just so happens to be a critical vulnerability; they are all based on sharing information.
So, how well protected can you make your social media profile and how easy is it to engage these security measures?
Fortunately, all of the major sites do have privacy and safety settings, so now is the time to activate them.
- Select your profile icon from the upper right-hand menu bar and click on the ‘Settings and privacy’ menu.
- From the main ‘Account’ pane you can scroll down to the ‘Security’ section and enable both ‘Login verification’ (a two-factor identification process requiring an SMS code to login) and ‘Password reset’ (requiring additional information in order to reset your password such as your phone number).
- From the left-hand menu pane, select ‘Privacy and safety’ to access more security features including ‘Tweet privacy’. Activating this setting ensures that all of your tweets are visible only to those people that follow you.
- Consider deactivating the location tag associated with your tweets. If you tweet whilst abroad it can indicate that your house is empty and may be a potential invitation to burglars. This is also true if others are able to tag you in photos.
- You can also opt out of email notifications that Twitter sends to you using the ‘Email notifications’ settings if you want to ease up your daily inbox influx.
- You can only change your security settings using the mobile app and not via the desktop application. Select your profile from the bottom right menu and then tap the ‘Settings’ cog icon in the top right of the screen.
- Scroll to the bottom of the ‘Account’ menu and slide the scroll button against ‘Private Account’. This will make your account private and ensure that all of your photos can only be seen by your followers. All new followers will require approval before they are added to your network.
- You can also toggle on the ‘Two-factor authentication’ setting which will require an additional security code sent to your phone before each log-in).
- Select the ‘Me’ button at the top right of the LinkedIn page and select the ‘Settings & Privacy’ option.
- A new window will open from which you can select ‘Privacy’ from the header menu.
- You can tailor your privacy settings to ensure these are the most secure for your profile type including ‘Edit your Public Profile’. Your public profile is how your profile appears to users who are not logged in to LinkedIn or a part of your network. You can test this by performing a search on Google for your name and seeing how much information is shown. Consider changing this so that only your own connections can see your profile information.
- You can also opt to have your surname hidden as well as choosing who can see your profile as a suggested connection from within your network.
- At the bottom of the menu you can also enhance your account security by enabling two-step verification.
- Facebook has dozens of security and privacy settings which can be tailored to suit your own circumstances. Select the drop-down menu from the top right-hand arrow and select ‘Settings’.
- From the left-hand menu pane, select ‘Security and login’. From here you can authorise two-factor authentication to enhance the security of your account as well as opt in to receive alerts on unrecognised logins as well as add an extra layer of security to any communication you receive directly from Facebook.
- The ‘Privacy’ menu allows you to choose who can find you on Facebook and who can see the personal information and posts that you share.
If you are intent on securing your personal information online then the only sure-fire way to maintain data security is by not using these platforms at all. An unrealistic notion for most of us, the second-best option is to ensure that you have thoroughly enabled all of the privacy and security settings and made sure that all of your connections now that you have done so.