Living a great part of our lives on social media significantly changed the way we communicate with other people and how we perceive social life in general. However, it has also influenced our perception of security and privacy. On the one hand, we feel that the boundary between private and public becomes less visible, while on the other hand, we want to protect ourselves from many threats out there. Hence, we came up with a list of the most common cybersecurity threats and a few tips for tackling them. 

SOCIAL MEDIA SECURITY RISKS

Data mining and data breaches

A few decades ago, diamonds and oil were pretty much the most valuable things you could mine, while nowadays, data takes over the stage. Mining data from social media can help better understand certain behaviours and improve the user experience, but there are numerous drawbacks. For example, data sets can quickly get sold on the black market and endanger the security of millions of people across the globe since data breaches are the easiest way to steal credentials needed for committing malicious activities. Even if you are careful, you can still be identified on social media in multiple ways. 

Hacking of accounts

Getting your social media to account hacked can leave you with severe problems since there's a thin line between losing access to your account and having your identity stolen. Identity theft is one of the biggest concerns since it doesn't affect the users only emotionally. Still, it can put them in severe financial trouble, and it can take quite some time to resolve the issue. 

Phishing attacks

Every successful phishing attempt has to include an irresistible bait. The same goes for phishing - hackers usually create links or posts promising highly engaging content specially designed to collect your data or infect your device with malware. 

HOW TO SECURE YOUR ACCOUNTS

Use strong passwords

Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report reveals that weak or stolen passwords caused 81 percent of all data breaches. Thus, make sure to create strong credentials that don't include any personal information. Also, never use the same password across various accounts and keep them private to yourself. 

Start using a VPN

Protecting your credentials is not enough to stay safe on the internet. If you want to make sure that your online activities aren't exposed to third parties that could use your data against you, consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). What a VPN does is routing your online traffic through an encrypted pathway that's going to scramble your information and make it unreadable to anyone who tries to get their fingers on it. 

Add multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication relies on the premise that the user needs several different components to access the account. The most common cases are when you need to combine your standard password with a biometric factor like a fingerprint or face scan. Also, it can include other verification methods like SMS received code or using tokens for creating one-time PINs. 

Turn on the login alert

Since security threats have become much more vicious, social media platforms have been paying more attention to creating features to stop potential account hacking. Thus, go through your social media account's settings and switch on the login alert to receive a message every time someone tries to log in to your account from another device. If you don't recognize the activity you've been informed about, simply mark it as unauthorized access.

Avoid public networks

Connecting to a public network is never advisable, but if you need emergency internet access, look for password-protected public networks because they're always safer than open WiFis. Cybercriminals like to set up malicious WiFi hotspots that look credible but are actually created to obtain your data. A single Instagram login can end up as identity theft, so make sure to keep your eyes open at all times. 

Protecting your accounts from multiple online threats can be exhausting, but have in mind that every resilient strategy needs time to evolve, and you'll need to adapt it every now and then to make sure you have all your bases covered.