Ways to Protect Social Media Accounts
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Oliver VanDervoort
It seems like anyone who is anyone has a social media account — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn are a few of them — these days.
It can be pretty tempting to just go get one yourself and have at it willy-nilly but there are some very important rules you should always keep in mind when you are using Facebook or Twitter. The Internet can be a dangerous place if you aren’t practicing safe browsing habits and regularly making sure that you are secure no matter what you are doing. More and more hackers are trying to find ways to get into people’s social networking profiles, which is why we were kind enough to come up with the top ten ways to protect social media accounts.
10. Beware of odd messages
When you receive a message from a friend you didn’t expect, make sure they sent it: The number one way hackers will try to get into your account is to make you think they are a friend. Facebook has had problems in the past with instant messages going out say things like “you have to see this!” and it comes from a friend’s account. If the message looks odd, or you don’t normally get messages from that person, check with them before you click any links.
9. Friend wisely
Don’t friend someone you don’t know: Many a hacker will disguise themselves as a gorgeous girl or a studly man in order to entice you to first friend or follow them and then send you malware. If you don’t know the person, or don’t think their profile is trustworthy, don’t let them in.
8. Log out
Always log out of a public computer: This is common sense, but don’t leave a public computer if you are still logged in to Twitter or Facebook. Don’t ever allow those computer browsers to save your passwords either.
7. Read messages critically
“Edit” Incoming Messages: This means that if you get a message and the grammar is all kinds of wrong, its most likely an attempt to expose you to malware.
6. Apps and Addons
Review Apps and Addons: Make sure you know where all the apps and addons are coming from and routinely delete ones you no longer use. Facebook’s game library is pretty sweet, but there is plenty of malware and viruses disguised as games as well.
5. Install updates
Keep Browsers up-to-date: This is a simple yet important step. If your browsers are out of date, then their security features and settings are likely to be out of date as well. Keep an eye out for updates regularly.
4. Click with caution
Check out link before you click: The best hackers can send you messages that look like completely legitimate links and have just one or two things different that will end up directing you to a bad site. Luckily most browsers these days have a function that allows you to hover over a link and see where it goes. If you get a link in a message you think might not be trustworthy, either don’t click or at least check it out first.
Always use HTTPS: HTTPS is simply a more secure way to connect and it means that it will be harder for hackers or malware to intercede with your browsing. Most social network sites swear by it, but it’s always good to double check.
2. Outgoing mail
Check your outgoing message folder: There are certain types of malware that will basically take over your account and send links and messages to your friends laced with viruses. From time to time you should check your outgoing message folder and see if there are any messages that you don’t remember sending. Take appropriate action, including the next step if it appears there are mystery messages.
1. Password maintenance
Change your passwords frequently: Number one on the list of top ways to protect social media accounts because there is no better way to stay protected. You should change your passwords at least a couple of times a year and most security firms will say its better to do it once a month or once every two months. Your passwords should also be codes that are hard to crack, don’t use family pets or your birthday no matter how often you change it.