Since the first renowned social media site Myspace hit the scene, the social networking landscape has been exploding with various networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Meetup etc. And today is significant for all of them. Because it’s social media day! A day which the popular website Mashable, back in 2010, dedicated to “this wonderful platform” which has brought us closer together, helped us reconnect with friends (both old and new), and even carry out some serious job hunting.
Unfortunately, every good thing has a dark side to it. And with Social Media, it’s the exposure of our personal details. We end up exposing so much about ourselves online that the “information is literally there (online) for the taking” for hackers. And these days, with the rampant social media-related crimes, “the bad has eventually replaced the good”.
So does this mean the current day internet users should totally avoid Social Media websites? Or should they just carry on brazenly hoping (and praying) that they don’t become the next victims?
The answer lies in “moderation”. We should use these social networking sites the way they are supposed to be used – by exercising discretion. And we should take the responsibility for protecting ourselves too – for the benefits Social Media offers are just too good to be avoiding them altogether.
Here are some security tips to secure yourself this social media day:
1. Install Antivirus: Malware attacks via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc, have become pretty common. And the problem seems to be only rising each day. So the first and foremost step in securing yourself against social media related threats is installing an antivirus package which thwarts various malware attacks.
2. Install Anti-Spyware and Anti-Spam tools: Besides antivirus, you also need to install anti-spyware and anti-spam tools which prevent malicious malware activity and prevent undesired mails respectively. Simply put, you need a security suite of products to secure yourself from social media attacks. Because social media-related malware attacks are diverse and you can never predict from where the attack can strike your system.
3. Check Whether Website is Legitimate: Look up the address bar and check the domain name to ensure you are indeed logging into the legitimate website and not some replica created by hackers to steal your personal information. Many social media websites these days are SSL Certified, so finding out malicious websites trying to impersonate genuine ones shouldn’t be that hard.
4. Different Credentials for Different Accounts: Never use the same credentials for various social media accounts you might have. The urge to use the same credentials is indeed compelling as you don’t have to remember a slew of passwords. But please avoid this habit, as the password is the first thing which hackers will try to guess. So don’t make them guessable!
5. Enhance Security via Privacy Settings: Every social media website will allow you to configure privacy settings. Ensure you select the most secure options when it comes to configuring these, as they will go a long way in safeguarding your online personality.
6. Don’t Just Click on Anything and Everything: You’ll come across a number of links on the social media. And to resist the urge to click them and see what they contain is not that easy. But before doing so, exercise some caution. Don’t just click on anything and everything that you come across on social media. This can prove fatal. As a prudent internet user, you should know to which links to click and which to avoid. And if you are not sure at least the comments of the person who has shared you the link should help to some extent.
That’s it for now. These tips should keep you safe. We’ll be back with more tips the next social media day. Until then, Happy Social Media Networking! And don’t forget to follow our security tips!