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As of 2021, an estimated 57% of the global population uses social media. People use social media for everything, from socializing with friends to looking for your dream job. It undoubtedly opens up many more opportunities.
If you are one of the majority, it’s crucial that you protect your social media accounts from outside threats, including hackers, scammers, and stalkers.
Fortunately, safeguarding your social media from these threats is not as difficult as you think. Today, let’s go overfive tips that will help you protect your social media activity.
1. Avoid Sharing Photos
Social media blogger Dustin Stout compiled a list of statistics about each social media platform. He highlights that over 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook per day. On the surface, this doesn’t seem bad. With billions of users, it’s natural that Facebook would become home to billions of photos. However, there is one issue: metadata.
ExpressVPN suggests that photos on social media can expose a user’s location via the metadata. It can be easy for people to determine your location just from accessing your photos.
The best solution is to avoid posting photos whenever possible. If that’s not an option for you, you can still remove metadata by disabling geo-tagging on your device.
2. Be Careful About What You Post
Always take a second to think and review before posting on social media. A photo might contain more information than you realize, such as location data and identifiable information. Do you want all your followers to have this information? If you don’t, then it may be better to avoid posting.
Lastly, social media can be a dangerous place. Understand the exposure that once you’ve posted or even commented then it’s free for interpretation and viewable to anyone.
3. Set Your Accounts to Private
Sticking to ‘safe’ posts might be insufficient to grant you the privacy you expect. If you have a public social media account, anyone can view your social media profiles. Some platforms only allow registered users to view profiles, but basically anyone can create an account, including cybercriminals or stalkers.
The best way to maintain your privacy on social media is to set your accounts to private. Every platform offers users the option to do so. But what does that do? Simply put, setting an account to private ensures that only people you approve of can view your posts. For example, a private Twitter account owner can accept or deny follow requests.
4. Change Your Passwords
While many companies believe in a passwordless future, most social media accounts still rely on passwords. Until that passwordless future takes shape, you need to make sure that your passwords are as strong as possible. Or else it’ll be easy for cybercriminals to hack your accounts and take control of your social media.
If any of your social media passwords do not follow best practices, change them immediately. You can use a password generator if you need help creating a strong, unique password.
5. Avoid Strange Links and Potential Scams
Nothing is more enticing than a great deal. Think about it—have you ever seen a deal on social media so good that you just had to take a look? It happens to everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe.
Scammers know that people will flock to good online deals. As a result, scammers often advertise “deals” that act as bait to trick people into clicking on a link that takes them to a scam website.
If you ever see a deal that’s too good to be true, ignore it. Beware of strangers asking you to click on a link that you’re not familiar with on social media. It could be a scam or phishing attack.
Social media has brought a lot of us closer. However, it isn’t without risks and these five tips can protect your social media accounts, and create a safer online experience.