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  With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats, securing social media accounts has become essential for personal and professional safety. While social media platforms offer opportunities for connectivity and engagement, they also present significant security risks, such as identity theft, data breaches, and unauthorized access. Thus, online safety is a must. Understanding and implementing best practices for online safety is crucial to protect your digital presence and secure your interactions.
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Best Practices for Securing Your Social Media Accounts

  1. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Implementing robust passwords that are difficult to guess is essential. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Avoid common words and phrases, and never reuse passwords across different sites. Using a password manager can help manage and generate complex passwords effortlessly, ensuring that each of your social media accounts has a unique password to prevent a domino effect if one gets compromised.
  1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication significantly enhances account security by requiring two forms of identification before access is granted. Typically, this involves something you know (your password) and something you have (a mobile device that receives a verification code). Even if a hacker obtains your password, they won’t be able to access your account without also having possession of your second factor.
  1. Manage Privacy Settings

Personal information protection can be significantly enhanced by properly setting your privacy controls. Most social media platforms allow you to control who sees your posts, and personal info, and even who can look you up by email or phone number. Regularly review these settings, as social media platforms may update their privacy options or policies periodically.
  1. Be Wary of Phishing Attempts

Phishing is a common technique used by cybercriminals to gain access to your accounts. Be sceptical of emails or messages that request your personal information or direct you to a webpage asking for your credentials. Phishing attempts may appear to come from a legitimate source but often have subtle mistakes or odd URLs. Always verify the authenticity of any request by contacting the company directly using a known good contact method.
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  1. Secure Your Devices

The security of the devices you use to access your social media accounts is just as important as the online precautions you take. Ensure that your device software, including the operating system and any installed apps, is up-to-date. Use antivirus software to protect against malware and enable screen locks to prevent unauthorized physical access to your device.
  1. Audit Connected Apps

Many social media platforms allow you to enhance functionality by connecting third-party apps. However, these apps can sometimes access more information than necessary. Regularly auditing these permissions can prevent unnecessary data sharing. Remove apps that you no longer use or that request excessive permissions compared to the services they provide.
  1. Educate Yourself About Latest Security Features

Social media platforms often update their security features to counteract new threats. By keeping informed about these updates, you can take full advantage of new security tools as they become available. Follow tech blogs, subscribe to update notifications from the platforms themselves, and participate in forums where such information is shared.
  1. Be Cautious with Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient but potentially dangerous. They are typically not secure and provide an easy way for hackers to intercept your data. Avoid accessing sensitive accounts or information when connected to public Wi-Fi. For enhanced security, use a VPN, which encrypts your internet connection, making it much harder for someone to snoop on your activities.
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Achieving online safety is vital for safeguarding your online identity and privacy. Adhering to established security practices can significantly reduce your vulnerability to cyber threats. Regular updates to your security settings, vigilant monitoring of account activity, and informed use of privacy tools are more than just recommendations.
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This article was first published on 18th April 2024

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