Social media is one of the greatest things that ever happened to humanity; that’s no lie. However, as technology advances, what started as a platform to keep up with friends and family is now a tool for hackers and criminals to steal your information.
Even without hacking and gaining control of your social media account, a criminal can gather so much information about you. This makes it a very powerful resource, and hence, there’s a need to protect your privacy.
Below, we’ll look at three best ways to protect your privacy on social media.
1. Take charge of your privacy settings
After signing up for that Instagram or Facebook account, did you take a look at your privacy settings? The truth is, most people rarely change their privacy settings when opening accounts on any website. This is wrong.
By using the default privacy settings on your social media accounts, you expose some details that would be better off hidden.
Small details like your birthday, your phone number, email address, and even location are huge assets to a criminal. So, you need to ensure that they remain hidden. Ensure that you’ve set most of your personal information private, and only make public the obvious details.
Additionally, limit the number of people who can view your profile and your posts. On sites like Instagram where it’s had to do this, make your account private instead. This will ensure that only the people you approve can see what you post.
Lastly, always update your privacy settings as the social platform continues to change. The less information about you is visible, the more privacy you’ll enjoy!
2. Don’t link up to your social media accounts
Today, many websites allow you to sign up with your social media accounts. While this is very convenient and easy, it’s not the best decision for someone who wants privacy online. Your social media accounts reveal a lot about you than you think.
People can decode your political affiliations, friends, likes, religion, and beliefs, among other crucial factors. Therefore, when you use your social media account to sign up for something, you’re exposing a lot of details about you.
This is crucial for people who have two lives at work and at home. If you don’t want to mix your professional life too your personal life, don’t have the accounts together.
Moreover, some of the posts or tweets you have on your account may come out as offensive – even if that wasn’t your intention, and come back to haunt you. It’s also possible to link your social media account to a malicious site and hence giving your personal details to hackers and cybercriminals.
3. Be careful when using public networks
I know you don’t want to miss any of the stories posted on your friends’ Instagram or Facebook, but if you’re using public wi-fi, you’d better think again. Open connections are usually breeding grounds for hackers.
Since the connection is unsecured, they take the opportunity to scan your data traffic and can quickly access your account. Therefore, you have to be extra careful when accessing your social media account.
If you desperately need to use the public wi-fi, ensure that you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on. A VPN encrypts your data traffic and secures your connection, ensuring that cybercriminals can’t read your data.
Nonetheless, you have to be specific about the VPN you choose. On Reddit, you can find information about VPNs, which will help you make an informed decision. Find a VPN that uses top-class security, and that has invested in privacy policies and settings.
Lastly, don’t access your social media account from a public device, like the library computer, or any other shared device. The more people have access to a computer, the higher the chances for a criminal to do it too!
Key things you should already know
If you have several social media accounts, don’t link them together, or use the same password for each of them. This way, if one account is compromised, other accounts will remain safe.
Additionally, use strong passwords for your account. Gone are the days when your birthday was enough for a password – it’ll be cracked in a minute. Instead, use the recommended strong passwords with capital letters, some special characters, and numbers.
Maintaining your privacy on social media has become one of the hardest things to do in 2020. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. You simply need to be more aware of what you post, and who sees the post.
There are numerous other things you can do to stay safe on social media. But with the above tips, you can be sure that no criminal will access your account any time soon!
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