5 Essential Steps to Secure Social Media Accounts

Oh internet, where would we be without you? The internet has become an ingrained part of our lives, especially when it comes to communication, entertainment, and news. But despite its benefits, internet use comes at a price. The highest cost you could end up paying would be losing your personal information to lurking hackers. Therefore, in this guide, you will find actionable tips to help you stay safe on social media.

5 Essential Steps to Keep Your Social Media Accounts Secure

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How to Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Thanks to social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and so many others, we are able to live the best of both the real and virtual world. However, we don’t want to forget that they also have their downfalls. Our online privacy and data security are always subject to being compromised.

With hackers roaming around and cybercriminals waiting for the right moment to strike, anyone, regardless of age or tech-expertise, can fall victim to a number of threats. But with the right guidance and measures, you will overcome these obstacles and secure your social media presence and activities.

1. Make Use of a VPN

If you’re using the chat feature in any social media app, you can rest assured that your messages are protected with end-to-end encryption. The problem doesn’t lie in the platform, it’s the connection itself.

A VPN, short of Virtual Private Network will reroute your data through one of its servers, making it harder to trace. It also adds a layer of protection over the end-to-end one with its own encryption algorithms. Not only that, but it also hides your IP address and lets you surf the internet anonymously. That way not even your ISP can monitor what you do during your browsing activities. You can easily protect yourself by following these steps.

  1. Sign up with a VPN provider, ExpressVPN is highly recommended.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on a compatible device such as Android, iOS, PC, or Mac.
  3. Sign in with your VPN account.
  4. Connect to a server.
  5. Once the connection is established, you’re all safe to go.

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2. Use Strong Passwords

When you create your account, the first thing you’re required to do is to add your username and create a password. There no better to start your security measures than right from the start. So make sure you come up with a very complicated password that no one will ever guess.

Most social media applications have a strength bar that rates your password, that’s a good place to start, but you can do better. Your password should be long and have random and characters such as ‘! ? % &’ for instance. Some websites asks to include at least one special character, and most people include one, but there’s no reason to add more.

Granted, creating complicated passwords makes it difficult, if not impossible to memorize them. But that’s a fair price to pay. Try to save your passwords somewhere safe, perhaps even offline.

3. Enable Two Factor Authentication

A relatively recent feature to become popular, but it’s for sure one heck of a good one. 2FA, as it is alternatively known, requires users to input an extra code that is usually communicated either via SMS or through a dedicated mobile app after entering the right password. This means that even if someone manages to get a hold of your password, they won’t be able to access your account unless they have in their possession your phone, which would also have to be unlocked.

What’s more, if you’re notified via SMS, and you receive a code randomly, then that would be an alert of someone trying to access your account.

This feature is particularly useful when accessing your accounts from other people’s devices. Keylogger go out the window.

This is what enabling Two Factor Authentication looks like on Facebook.

Two Factor Authentication

4. Avoid Public WIFI

If you’re using browsing social media on public WiFi networks, then you’re giving an open invitation to hackers to come and harvest all your info. Even worse is if you enter your credit card number. Pubic WiFi networks are typically set up with very low security. Any amateur hacker with the right software can tap into all your sensitive information and pick whatever he wants to grab.

So, you could choose not to access sensitive content in such places or avoid using the internet entirely on those networks. There is a third option: you can use a VPN to protect yourself from anyone with the intention of hacking your device.

5. Browse Privately and Securely

One other way to circumvent being hacked is to use Private Browsing. Almost all the web browsers have this option. Therefore, when you activate it, any activity you go through will not be logged into the browsing history. There are a lot more ways to handle privacy and security while using social media, check them out:

  • Avoid Public Computers: Public computers have a high probably to be affected by viruses or malware. If you log in your credentials, it might log what you submitted. So, try not to use them or just don’t present your personal data. Wait till you get home.
  • Unknown Friend Requests: Such requests are a very scary thing. If you’re not sure whether the profile is legit, just don’t accept. It might be a hacker so better to be on the safe side.
  • Scam Links: Links sent by unknown users or an already hacked friend are a way to lure you into a hacking trap. Don’t click on them, I’m sure that if the subject is interesting we can find it elsewhere.

The Best Ways to Avoid Social Media Hacks – Final Thoughts

As my Instagram was hacked once, I literally went through hell along the way of recovering it. Inappropraite photoes were posted on my page and my friends started calling me to warn me while I was in the dark. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through and that’s why I wrote this article. Guys, it’s very serious, you have friends and families on your accounts and you could be jeopardizing their safety as well. Follow the guide and I’m sure you’ll experience social media in a very different way afterwards.