In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine life without social media. However, with the convenience and connection that comes from having a digital presence, there’s also the potential for cybercriminals to exploit your personal information.
Phishing is one example of a malicious cyberattack that’s becoming increasingly common on major platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Cybercriminals implement phishing attacks by sending messages or links that appear legitimate but, when clicked, will take you to an illegitimate website or prompt you to download harmful software.
That’s why understanding how to stay safe on social media is so important.
Read on to find out how you can keep your data secure while still enjoying all the benefits of being online. But before that get to know the different techniques used by cyberbullies.
Common Social Media Threats And Scams
Here are some common social media threats and scams that users should be aware of:
- Phishing: It is a type of scam where attackers send fake messages or emails that appear to be from legitimate sources. These messages often contain links that lead to fake login pages or other malicious sites, which can steal your personal information.
- Malware: Hackers can use social media to spread malware, such as viruses, trojans, and ransomware. They often do this by tricking users into clicking on links or downloading files that contain the malware.
- Fake accounts: Scammers may create fake social media accounts to trick users into sharing personal information, sending money, or clicking on links. These accounts can be difficult to spot, as they often use fake profile pictures and information.
- Cyberbullying: Social media can also be a platform for cyberbullying, which involves the use of digital communication to harass or intimidate others. This can take many forms, including trolling, doxxing, and posting inappropriate or offensive content.
- Identity theft: Social media users may inadvertently share personal information that can be used to steal their identity. This can include information such as their full name, birthdate, location, and employment history.
Steps To Stay Safe From Cyber Threats
It’s important for social media users to be aware of these threats and take steps to protect themselves. Here is how you can do that
Be Aware Of Your Privacy Settings
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself on social media is to use your privacy settings.
Depending on the platform you’re using, there may be multiple layers of privacy settings that you can enable.
For example, Facebook allows you to choose from Public, Friends, Only Me, and custom settings when deciding who can see your posts.
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these options and select the one that makes you feel most secure.
Create Strong Passwords
Another critical factor in protecting yourself online is ensuring that you have a strong password for each account.
A strong password should include lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols.
Additionally, your password should be at least eight characters long and not contain any personally identifiable information like your name or date of birth.
Cybersecurity experts recommend changing your passwords every three months to keep them secure.
Stay Wary Of Links
Malicious actors often use social media platforms to spread malware or gain access to personal information through phishing attacks.
It’s important to be wary when clicking on links sent via social media messages—especially if they look suspicious or come from people you don’t know—as they may contain malicious code or lead you to a phony website designed to steal sensitive information like usernames and passwords.
If you are unsure about a link sent via social media message, it’s best not to click on it at all!
The bottom line is that there are plenty of ways to stay secure online and remain active on social media.
Making sure you have a strong password, staying conscious of who has access to your profile, and knowing what links you click on can all help protect your information.
Remember, cybercrime is a reality, and it can be challenging to recover from its consequences.
Fortunately, following these helpful tips can reduce the risk of an attack and keep you safe in the digital space.
Taking the time to review your privacy settings and creating a secure password that criminals can’t easily guess can go a long way in keeping you safe online.
By taking these steps now, you’re setting yourself up with security that will last well into the future.