6 Essential Tips to Stay Safe on Social Media

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9 July 2017

No matter what your platform of choice is, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc., if you want to enjoy a safer social networking experience, you should take a look at these 6 fundamental tips…

1. Never share your password

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t share your password to any online account, especially an account that’s associated with your identity or has the ability to make transactions.

Even if you have absolute trust in the person you may have shared it with, you can’t guarantee the security of their system or browsing habits, and if they were hacked, your account would also be at risk.

Remember: when you share your social media passwords, you’re essentially sharing total access to your online identity.

Don’t use the same password twice across any of your accounts

It may be convenient and easy to use the same password twice, but you’re making it easier for cyber criminals to compromise multiple accounts you own—testing a known password across multiple accounts is likely the first thing they’ll do. 

If you’re using unique and well-crafted passwords, and change them regularly, it makes life very hard for anyone to hack your account. If you need to store your passwords securely (something you really should be doing), consider using a password manager.

3. Log out of your accounts on shared devices

If you’re on a shared public PC or sharing a mobile device, always remember to log out of your account and never let a browser (or operating system) store your password for you. 

If you forget to log out, or your password has been saved, you’re leaving the door wide open for anyone to snoop around, act maliciously or steal your private data should they have access to that device.

4. Check your Privacy and Security Settings

Make sure you regularly review your social media account’s privacy and security settings. 

Where possible enable features that allow detection of suspicious activity, and two-factor authentication for extra protection. You’ll be able to monitor and limit access in the event your account is accessed without your permission.

Next, check your accounts privacy settings—make sure you’re only sharing what you want to share with the people you want to share it with. For example, Facebook has numerous privacy settings that allows you to organise and control who sees your posts. When it comes to sharing, consider the golden rule: if you’re sharing personal information and content then make sure you’re sharing with people you know and can trust, which brings us to the next point…

5. Keep your personal details private and 
don’t overshare 

Don’t reveal too much about your personal life (or others) when sharing on social media sites, especially with the public—think before you post or broadcast personal identifiable information (PII) like: your car registration, home address, phone numbers, place of work, family members’ details, identity documents, holiday details, travel itineraries or location.

Criminals can easily use this private information to: steal your online identity, target you or family members for scams, gain access to financial services and more—houses have been successfully burgled by criminals monitoring social media sites, targeting people who post about when they’re away or on holidays.

6. Watch out for messages or posts with phishing links

Criminals often entice people with compelling content and seemingly harmless links to malicious sites where they can install malware or attempt phishing for personal information. Identifying these attacks are particularly hard because both the link and the fraudulent site can look legitimate.

Remember: Don’t trust unsolicited emails or messages requesting you to enter personal  or financial details to claim a gift, winnings or update private account details by clicking a link.

ESET software provides Anti-phishing protection by checking website links (URLs) against our database of known phishing sites. If a match is found, connection to the URL is discontinued and a warning message is displayed. To protect yourself against malware (like Wannacry and Petya) and phishing attacks you can download ESET Internet Security for Windows, ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac and ESET Mobile Security for Android.

Follow these easy tips and you’ll be a step ahead of any potential online threats while enjoying your social media experiences.