HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS FROM HACKING
Description: To better describe hacking, one needs to first understand hackers. One can easily assume them to be intelligent and highly skilled in computers. In fact, breaking a security system requires more intelligence and expertise than actually creating one. There are no hard and fast rules whereby we can categorize hackers into neat compartments. However, in general computer parlance, we call them white hats, black hats and grey hats. White hat professionals hack to check their own security systems to make it more hack-proof. In most cases, they are part of the same organisation. Black hat hackers hack to take control over the system for personal gains. They can destroy, steal or even prevent authorized users from accessing the system. They do this by finding loopholes and weaknesses in the system. Some computer experts call them crackers instead of hackers. Grey hat hackers comprise curious people who have just about enough computer language skills to enable them to hack a system to locate potential loopholes in the network security system. Grey hats differ from black hats in the sense that the former notify the admin of the network system about the weaknesses discovered in the system, whereas the latter is only looking for personal gains. All kinds of hacking are considered illegal barring the work done by white hat hackers.
To help you stay safe from hackers and secure your social media accounts, here’s a list of things you should do. securing your account.
The different social media platforms have security features that you should take advantage of. Here are some tips for
1- Choose a strong password
The first step to securing your social media account it creating a strong password, and No, I don’t mean Password123456. Strong passwords typically contain symbols, numbers and letters mixed in uppercase and lower case but try using something not too complicated for you to remember. If you are still not sure what a strong password should look like, see the image below.
2- Change your password regularly
A strong password is not enough to keep your account secure, so it is advised that you change your password at least once in 3 months. This is to make sure any old or public devices you have used in the past can no longer access your account. If it’s a business page, this makes sure that former staff or team members also do not have admin access to your page.
To always be on the safe side, try not to use the same password across all your accounts to avoid compromising all your accounts when one is hacked.
3- Two-Factor Authentication
This is probably the best and most secure way to log in and protect your social media accounts.
“You know how you lock your car with the remote and still check all four doors to make sure it’s really locked… LOL. Think about this the same way you use a hard token or one-time-password (OTP) for your bank transactions. When someone tries to log in to your account, they have to input a PIN that will be sent to a phone number before they are granted access. Many social media platforms currently have and recommend this feature to help protect your account.
An alternative to using a phone number is to set up Two-Factor Authentication using Google Authenticator App that generates a unique code for each account every time you try to log in.
4- Be careful and only use trusted third-party applications
Before using a third-party app to manage any of your social media accounts, you must first grant such app access to your account. Third-party apps can often do different things on your behalf including posting on your behalf. Hence it is VERY IMPORTANT that you research such app and only grant access to trusted third-party apps. It is also very important to READ and be sure what information you are giving such app access to.
If I was to write an extra point, I would say, USE YOUR HEAD!! Never input your social media login details into a different website asking for them. A safe website would use the bottom “Log in with Facebook” rather than ask you to put your Facebook login directly.
It’s also interesting to note that most successful hack attempts are caused by human error that carelessly leaves the door open for a hack.
Use VPN Always
VPN is a virtual private network. For those who are not sure what it is and what it does:A virtual private network (VPN) gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address, so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Most important, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.The biggest obstacles for hackers are multi-factor authentication and encryption. I already mentioned the first one, but the second one is a must as well. At least for those who want to be a wee bit safer on the vast internet that is available to us. Especially if you find yourself in need of connecting to a public airport, cafe, or library network. Those are the common ways the dude we talked about earlier can reach you.
Avoid clicking on shortened links
One word — phishing. “The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.” Best to avoid those like the hellfire unless it’s really your grandma who is sending you a link through a reputable site.