How to Protect Yourself on Social Media

How to Protect Yourself on Social Media


How to Protect Yourself on Social Media

24.05.2017


With the recent ransomware attack that crippled over 200,000 computers worldwide, the issue of computer safety and security has never been more apparent We take matters of computer safety seriously, most of us using the correct anti-virus software, firewalls, and conducting software updates when we’re supposed to.

But what happens to safety on social media? How can you avoid falling into the trap of spam, scam, or worse? There are several ways that you can increase the security of your profiles, both personally and as a business, and clues to watch out for. Below we have highlighted some of the most common security breaches that effect these platforms and how best to avoid them.

Leaving your Privacy settings wide open

Privacy settings are about more than just choosing a strong, secure and unique password for your social media accounts. Making sure that only experienced, trusted and adequately advised persons can access or modify your social media profiles and settings is key; only give Admin access to those you can truly trust, and make sure that old users such as ex-employees are removed of their access as soon as possible. Limiting permissions for posting on your Business Page can help both your staff; with posts being drafted before approval for publishing, or preventing users from posting any malicious links, images or other content without it first being approved by an Admin.

The human-error blunder

We’ve all clicked on a link or a video without properly checking its contents. Accidental clicks to phishing links can cause you to inadvertently spread malicious files or spam to your friends and followers, and such an attack can be detrimental to your reputation, particularly as a business. Such spam can also be transferred from your account to others, with unfortunate knock-on effects.

Even corrupt image files and email attachments are vulnerable. Don’t click on links from emails or users you’re unfamiliar with, and double check what’s being posted before you post it. Whilst it isn’t always easy to tell what is safe and what isn’t, there’s one way to boost your chances of safety; if in doubt, don’t click.

Impersonations

Inadvertently posting personal information online can enable it to fall into the wrong hands, and the more you post, the more at risk you are. Anyone who interacts with you, or you interact with, can be helping the spread of such information. This can allow malicious persons to get your private data and to create fake accounts, to impersonate your business, inject files and more. The less personal information you share, the safer you are.

Lack of a social media policy

A social media policy is crucial for determining the levels of security for your online business profiles, and is a highly effective strategy that can be used by multinational companies, local businesses and even safety-conscious individuals.

In your social media policy, you can include your best practices as well as practical advice on safety. This policy should include information on how to create a secure password, and why it should be changed regularly. The policy should also outline monitoring of comments, mentions and other engagements that may be suspicious, as well as pinpointing spam, malware and phishing, Above all, the policy should provide clear guidelines for what to do in the case of such a security breach.

We’re all prone to slip ups, and occasionally, attacks can and do slip through the cracks, but handling the situation properly is half of the worry.

Below is a list of common items to watch out for:

  • Email attachments from unfamiliar or spammy-looking email addresses

  • Fake friend mentions via comments, messages or email

  • Fake tags which tag you in an explicit photo/post containing a virus

  • Impersonations

  • Account takeover – did you post that content? Are you sure?

  • Catchy, viral links and sensationalist news, otherwise known as clickbait

  • Fake discount codes

 

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