There are a few risks that come with social media. Few of them are very serious, but it is always a good idea to be cognizant of them to be on the safe side. Social media profiles are not often hacked unless they are popular or influential ones.
If your social media profile is becoming popular and you are becoming influential on social media, then you may wish to consider increasing your security on there.
Run a social media virus/malware scan
There are now a few anti-virus and anti-malware programs that offer to run scans on the things posted on your Facebook wall. Norton (for example) offers a service that will scan all of the posts on your wall for viruses, malware, or links to risky websites. It will highlight the posts, comments and links that you should probably delete.
You should increase the strength of your password
This can be done in a number of ways. For a start, you should increase the size of your password; it should be at least eight characters long. Passwords that are made up of real words are a bad idea, but since your social media profile is not at a massive risk of being hacked, then a few words squashed together may be okay. You should definitely not just use one word for your password (even if the word is longer than eight letters). At the very least, you should squash two words together, such as “ChickenKittens”.
With some social media sites it does not matter if you use capital letters or not, and with others it does matter. If you are on one where capital letters may be used, then you should use them to increase the strength of your password. Do not use commonly used passwords such as the word “password” or “monkey”, or your name or your user name. Do not use the name of your partner or your favorite instrument.
Try to use a mix of characters, such as letters and numbers. Try to make sure that your password is a mixture of letters and numbers, and try not to use just numbers or just letters.
Stop giving your private answers on social media
The private/secret answers are the ones you are asked on websites, which include social media sites. When creating your secret answers for any website, you should never use the questions and answers that appear on your social media accounts. For example, a commonly used question (albeit an old one) is your mother’s maiden name. However, on social media such as Facebook, you probably have your mother as a family member. People can just look up your mother and find her maiden name with ease.
Run different social media accounts on different email accounts
Getting a free email account is easy, and there are very few free accounts that will restrict you and not allow you to have more than one. You may create a massive number of accounts in some cases, before the host starts to become suspicious of you. If that is the case then why not have your Twitter account on one email account, your Facebook on another, etc.
This is good for two reasons. The first is because if one of your email addresses is hacked then you do not need to worry about all of your social media accounts being compromised (only the ones linked to that email address). Secondly, if someone has a vendetta against you, then they will assume that you use one email for all of your social media accounts. It will result in the trying to conduct brute force attacks on your social media sites with the wrong email address.
As an extra point of caution, you should set your privacy settings so that people cannot find your email address on your social media site. In this day and age, it is good common sense.
Never put your password in digital form
The only place you should ever type your password is in the small box provided by the social media site. If you type it anywhere else, e.g. an email, IM chat, saved on your computer, then it suddenly becomes very easy find and use. Also, make sure that you do not use the same password for anything more than once. It may be convenient to only ever have one password, but it puts you at a big risk if anyone ever figures out what it is.
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