Security of Social Media Accounts
In today’s world, security of social media accounts has become as important as the security of your bank accounts. Our personal lives are plastered all over social platforms, so much so that Social platforms are able to tell a lot about the kind of person you are.
In many ways, our personality, interests, dreams and hopes are expressed in the ways we use social platforms, in the types of content we put out, in the types of content we consume, groups we belong to, brands and people we follow, our preferred platform.
The threat to this persona that we have created online, which, in many ways represent us, even though it seems intangible, can be great, and sometimes very costly.
In today’s world, passwords alone are not sufficient enough to keep the bad guys out. Your Passwords should ideally be complex, containing lower and uppercase characters, symbols and numbers. You can write them down somewhere safe, but ultimately, there are a few other practices that can help keep us safer.
How can you keep your accounts safe?
There are many types of threats on the internet trying to get a hold of your online persona. If they succeed, they can easily pose as you to your friends and family and unsuspectingly defraud your friends of valuables.
Online security is the collective responsibility of everyone online. And the following steps can help keep you safe.
- Use valid Antivirus software on your computer, phones and other devices. There are some really nasty threats on the internet. Virus and malware designed to steal your passwords if it gets unto your devices, malware that can use your phone credit, send sms, take photos with your selfie camera or your web cam etc.
- Links and Clicks – Be sure to only click on links from recognized sources. The aim here is to be careful with links, as not every link might be as healthy as they look.
- Be Alert – Form a habit of looking at the url of the site you are on and check to be sure that the site has a security certificate. You can know this by noticing the locked padlock icon in the address bar. Additionally, web browsers like Google Chrome will indicate to you if a website does not have an SSL certificate.
- PINs and OTPs – Personal Identification Numbers and One Time Passwords are usually sent to you as a second layer of security after your login password. They are personal and One -time. You should not be sharing them with any other person, no matter how hard or softly they ask. Many people get hacked because they have been socially engineered to believe the OTP or PIN is associated with a different discussion. Do NOT give your OTPs or PINs to third parties.
- 2-Factor Authentication – Virtually all Social Media platforms now have 2-factor authentication as a second layer of security for your accounts. Go into your security settings and turn them on! Do so for Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google.
- Public Devices and Networks – Even though not very apparent, logging into your social media accounts on public devices eg. in an internet cafe or a computer that is not yours could be harmful to your account. Some free WiFi services could also be compromised. Surf wisely.
If we learn to keep these simple rules, then our accounts are safer.
As security is everyone’s responsibility, everyone around you needs to keep these simple rules too, else, they can become the doorway through which your own account can be compromised. Share with them what you have learned and keep the online safety standards moving.
“ Personal Identification Numbers and One Time Passwords are… personal and One-time. You should not be sharing them with any other person, no matter how hard or softly they ask”
– Ayodeji Agboola