It is important for you to protect your personal data every time you use the internet. Especially since there are a lot of social media privacy concerns that you need to be aware of. Moreover social media has become part of our daily life, so this concern should be addressed immediately.
Social Media Privacy Concerns That You Should Be Aware of
Many people use social media in their daily lives which makes them vulnerable in some ways. Especially when your personal information gets taken by unauthorized personnel. Then you will get damaging consequences on both your finance and reputation. Here are some of the threats that happen on social media that you should be aware of:
- Data mining
Everyone that uses social media will leave some trail behind in the form of data spread on the internet. Furthermore, every time you create a new account in social media you might be asked to provide some personal information such as birthdate, name, location as well as personal interest.
The social media companies will also collect your data based on your behaviors such how, where and when you interact with the social media. All of those data will be stored and get leveraged by the company so they can put out better advertisement to you. The biggest social media privacy concern might be because sometimes the company also share your data to 3rd parties without your consent or knowledge.
- Phishing attack
This is an attempt that is done by criminals to try and gain access of your personal information. Usually they will use text message, phone call or email message for their attack.
The attacker will fake the message that they send as if it comes from legitimate source such as social media. Then they will lead you to a false social media page which will prompt you to sign in to the page. They will then take your social media account using the information that you put into the fake social media page.
- Malware share
Malware is a type of malicious software which designed to get access into system or device to take data stored inside. Once malware entered the system or device it can then be used to install spyware to take sensitive information, install ransomware to extort money or install adware that will force you to see advertisement in your device.
Your social media is an ideal system that can be used to distribute the malware. Once your social media account is compromised by the attackers, it can be used to attack other account in your friend list or contact list.
- Botnet attack
There are bots in social media which create automated post or will follow your account automatically when you mention certain term. When large number of bots gather to create a network then they will be called as botnet. These bots are used to steal data, launch DDoS attack, send spam message which then can be used by the attackers to get into your device or networks.
Things That You Can Do to Protect Your Privacy
Since social media has become part of our life not only for personal reasons but also for business reasons, then there is no way for you to stop using it all together. What you can do is to be aware and try to protect your social media privacy while using the platform. Here are some of the things that you can do to protect your privacy:
Do not share your daily routines and live location
Sharing different types of picture that you take when you are on a vacation is something that everyone casually done without thinking since it seems normal. However, there is actually a privacy concern here especially when you share the picture while you are currently in the location.
It will show that you are not currently home and even show your current location which can be dangerous. So, it is better for you to share the picture once you already back home. And do not share the picture while you in the location and do not share your daily routines since it can be used by stalkers to find your current location.
Do not share your identification number
You should know that attacker can stole your identity by using just your identification number such as SSN, bank account, driver’s license as well as passport. So you should never share those information in your social media since attackers can easily take that information once they gain access to your account.
Put less information in your profile
Social media let you set your profile with various information to make it feels more personal. However, the information that you put in your profile will just add more to the online footprint which can be used to track you.
If possible, it is better to just leave the profile information in your social media blank. Or even if you have to put something, it is better to give broad answer instead of your personal information. For example, just put the industry where you work instead of putting the specific company to protect your social media privacy.
Do not accept request from unknown people
It is important for you to not accept friend and follow request from someone that you do not personally know. If you want to build a public profile, then make a separate social media account that do not have any of your personal information.
Even if you already careful on the information that you post on the social media, your friends can still see things that other people post which related to you. They will use this information to deduct conclusion to find out about your birthdate. They can also use your friend list to mine your personal information.
Use strong password only one time
The password that you use in your social media account is the first defense line that you can used against attackers. That is why, it is important to make a secure password and only use it one time.
Do not use the same password anywhere else since this will make attackers get all of your account easier. To cope with this problem, you can try to make use of password managers. It is a tool that can help to store your password and encrypt it in secure manner so you do not have to remember all password for every social media that you create.
Use 2FA to login into your account
2FA is another security measure that you can use to secure your social media account. That way, each time you do login into your account, then you will need to input a code that can only be used one time besides your password.
Usually, the code will be sent through SMS but it is better to use authenticator app since it is more secure. The code is only valid for one time in certain duration so it will be more secure and stronger to protect your social media privacy.
Secure your privacy setting
Most people will just leave their privacy settings using default setting. However, it would be better for you to secure it especially if you share personal information in your account.
You should change what other people can see on your social media. Some platform such as Facebook even have separate settings for different group which you should make used of. You should also change the privacy setting to not allowed the platform to share the data that they datamined from you to 3rd party.
Make use the force logout feature
It is recommended for you to check sessions and devices for your social media periodically to make sure that you recognized the devices and sessions login. And if you do not recognize some of them then make use the force logout feature to log you out from all of the device and any open sessions. Then you can login again to your current device. This will help you manage your device easier and secure your social media privacy in one click.
Secure your back when you are in public
You should know that there is an attack method named shoulder surfeiting which can be used to steal your identity. This method is done by lurking over someone’s shoulder when they typing password into their account. This can be done manually or using CCTV camera which available in public space.
That is why, it is important for you to secure your back every time you are in public space. Avoid using public connection including Wi-Fi to login to your social media account since hackers can easily intercept unsecured Wi-Fi connection and take the data you send using the connection.
Take note on security emails
Your social media platform will sometimes send you security emails when there are unusual activities in your account such as failed login, login in a new device and many other. So, you need to pay attention when receiving those emails and take suitable action immediately such as changing your password.
Having social media actually give you vulnerability which put you on a risk of being attacked. The attackers can also take personal information that you put in your social media which can be dangerous and damaging. So, it is important to protect your social media privacy using methods we mention above.
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