Burton Kelso, Tech Expert
How To Keep Your Social Media Accounts Secure from Hackers
If you're on the Internet, you have a social media account or two. Some of you are using it for business and others of you are using it to keep up with family and friends. Cybercriminals are attracted to any place on the web where they can trick people with socially engineered attacks that are designed to trick you into giving up your personal information. Want to keep your social media accounts safe? Read on to find out what you need to do to secure your them from cyber crooks.
Why do hackers attack social media accounts? It doesn't matter what social media account you use for personal or business, you need to know you're a huge target. Criminals like to target your online accounts because you’re less likely to update the passwords on your social media accounts. If they gain access, there are several ways they can profit. Initially, you will see criminals make a fake account using your picture and duplicate some of your posts. Then they will send friend requests to your network, to see if they can lure your connections in to connect. Once they gain some traction, they will send phishing messages to your connects to see if they think it’s you sending the message making it more likely your friends will fall for a scam that’s designed to trick them out of money or personal information they can use for ID theft. Another tactic crooks use is to hack into your social media accounts. Once, in they can use credit cards that are associated with your account to run up charges and they can even use your account to send out phishing emails to your connections. If your account is hacked, there is no way to regain access as criminals will change the passwords and any 2-factor authentication you activated on the account. You will also lose access to any business pages that are connected to your personal account.
How do you stop social media hackers? If your social media pages were to get hacked, you know it would be a lot of work to create a new account from scratch which is why it is important to make sure your social media pages are safe and secure. The best defense is a great offense, right? Here's what you need to do:
Find out what information of yours is floating on the dark web. Data breaches occur all the time all over the world and from companies that you normally do business with and share information with. In most instances, companies are forthcoming as far as letting people know when they have suffered a data breach. Other times companies purposely inform their IT departments and other entities not to share with the general public that they have suffered a data breach that has leaked out your personal information. Your best bet is to visit this website www.haveIbeenpwned.com. This website will let you know if your e-mail and password information is floating around in the dark web. If you discover it is, you need to identify which online account was breached and change the password for that online account as well as any other accounts that were using the same password. Criminals love when people use the same passwords for their online accounts.
Create strong passwords, or should I say passphrases. Yes, passwords are a pain in the butt, but they are one of the most important things to keep your online accounts safe. Remember social media accounts can be accessed via the web from any computer or device in the world. Anyone can get access to the login screen. All it takes is a bot or a clever hacker to figure out that easy-to-guess password and they are in and can do whatever they want. Quit using passwords and switch to passphrases which are sentence-like string of words used for security that is longer than your traditional password. They are easy to remember and difficult to crack. Examples of passphrases are ‘YellowTurducken45!’ or ‘PassiveFordF150!’ If you’re not creative, visit www.useapassphrase.com to have one automatically selected for you.
Do the Two-Step With Two Factor Authentication. With all online accounts, you need to enable 2FA or Two Factor Authentication. Let's say you get a criminal tries to log in to your social media accounts with your password, you'll get an alert via text or email asking if you're the one logging in. If you're not, you're given the opportunity to deny the login and change your password. Guaranteed to keep your accounts safe.
If you love your social media accounts, go ahead and back that thang up. Most social media accounts will allow you to back up their information from time to time. You should go ahead and do that in the instance that your social media account is breached. Now unfortunately if your account is breached you cannot restore it from your backup, but many people get into the habit of uploading precious photos and videos to their social media accounts and then deleting them from their devices. If you want to hold on to those photos, periodically back up your social media accounts so that you will always have that information.
Use a password manager to keep your accounts safe. In today's digital age, it's almost impossible for you to remember every password for all of your online accounts. Your best bet is to use a password manager to store all of those passwords. The bonus of using a password manager or password keeper is that all of them will alert you whenever your personal password shows up on the dark web. This gives you the opportunity to stay ahead of cyber crooks and change your passwords and keep your social media account safe. there are many password keepers on the market, but it's probably best and more convenient for you to use the password keepers built into your favorite web browser. It doesn't matter if you're using Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, apple safari, Google Chrome, or Brave and Opera, all of these browsers give you the ability to store the passwords for all of your online accounts.
I hope you can use these tips to prevent your social media site from being hacked by cyber crooks. hackers. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
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