Protect your social media accounts from cybercriminals

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Phishing attacks on social media are on the rise, with Facebook being one of the most widely imitated brands. Hackers are now using more advanced techniques to harvest personal information from social media users. Follow our reminders and tips to improve your privacy settings and keep bad actors away from your info.

Lock screens exist for a reason

Always lock all your devices as soon as you stop using them. This way, you are safe from the simplest hack of all: someone opening a social media site on your browser while you’re still signed in.

In case you didn’t know, here’s how to lock your computer:

On Macs:

  • Press Ctrl+Command+Q.
  • Click the Apple logo on the top left corner of the screen, and click Lock screen.

    On Windows devices:
  • Press Windows key+L.
  • If there are multiple users using the device, click the Start button on the bottom left corner of the screen, then select User > Lock

Strong passwords aren’t going out of style anytime soon.

A six-digit passcode may suffice to protect your phone, but your social media account passwords will require something much more complex. Since data breaches are common, hackers are likely to have a long list of your favourite passwords from other websites and platforms. Create a password that you don’t need with every other account.

It is best to use a password manager like 1PasswordLastPass, or Dashlane. These allow you to generate, save, and retrieve complex passwords.

Multifactor authentication can also be allowed, which allows users to complete at least one additional identity verification step after entering their username and password. Having your fingerprint scanned or entering a one-time passcode on an authentication app may be the extra step or steps. Even if hackers know your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the additional security steps.

Make use of social media features

Facebook can help you monitor who’s accessing your account and from where. On a Mac or Windows computer, click on the down arrow located at the upper right corner of your Newsfeed and select Settings and Privacy. Then click Settings > Security and Login to get more information.

Under the section Where You’re Logged In, you’ll see a list of the places and devices you’re logged into. If you don’t recognize a particular location or device, that means someone else has logged in as you and is likely doing things you do not approve of. You need to log them out forcibly (by clicking the ellipsis on the row indicating the malicious login and click Not you?) and then report the incident immediately.

Then, under Setting Up Extra Security, turn on Get alerts about unrecognized logins. Unfortunately, as of this writing, Twitter doesn’t have the same option. This makes implementing multifactor authentication even more necessary.

Hackers can also take over your Facebook and Twitter accounts through third-party services to which you’ve given access to your profiles, so make sure to double-check what you have approved. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Facebook: Go to Settings > Apps and Websites to view and manage third-party services that use Facebook to log you into the accounts you have with them.
  • Twitter: Go to Settings and Privacy > Apps to check and edit the list.

Lastly, check the permissions Facebook and Twitter have on your smartphone or tablet.

  • Android: Go to Settings > Apps > App permissions.
  • iOS: Go to Settings > Privacy to manage which service can access which parts of your phone (such as the camera and speaker).

Less personal info, fewer problems

These steps are just the beginning of what you should be doing. You should also limit the personal data you share on your social media accounts. Avoid oversharing.
By following these tips, you can significantly prevent Facebook and Twitter hacking.

Cybersecurity is a sprawling issue — and social media privacy is but one of the many things you need to stay on top of. For advice and support, call Geekknowtech IT today.