Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. help you stay in touch with your family and friends all around the world. People are relocating to different parts of the world for further studies or jobs and staying connected is more crucial than ever. Apart from being connected, social media also helps us stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in the world and influence our lifestyle choices like fashion, food, etc.
But on one hand, where social media offers us a lot of good things, on the other hand, it poses many threats and risks. If not used mindfully and responsibly, it can hamper your social security and threaten your private life. However, these threats and risks can be mitigated by the cautious use of social media and following some tips to ensure your personal safety on social media.
Let us explore the many risks that are associated with social media, how to curb them and some tips to ensure safety on social media platforms.
Risks Associated With Social Media And How To Curb Them
1. Unmonitored Social Media Accounts
Social media accounts that are inactive or dormant for a long time are a big target for hackers. Once a dormant or inactive account is hacked, it can be used to post fraudulent content, misleading information and virus-infected links or malware.
To ensure that your social media accounts are not hacked, monitor them regularly.
2. Imposter Accounts
Accounts that appear to be genuine but on close inspection turn out to be fake are known as Imposter Accounts. Every year, there are millions of fake accounts reported by social media users. The problem with these accounts is that they can spread false information, rumours, offensive content and a lot more. Imposter accounts can also scam you by pretending to be someone else. This can affect the authenticity of the actual brand or the person.
If you have a brand page, then it is best to get your social media accounts verified with the blue tick. For your personal account, keep it private so that your personal information is not used to create imposter accounts or against you.
When creating a new social media account, many people, even brands, accept the platform’s “Default Settings”. According to a recent study, these “Default Settings” don’t work as expected in protecting your personal information on social media. The “Default Settings” of any social media platform conceals the activity on your profile but leaves some sections of your profile, like profile picture and status, public. Thus, it is better to manually secure your profile on any social media platform.
Make sure that when you create a new personal profile on these platforms, you don’t put up your personal information, like phone numbers, in your account.
4. Phishing Attacks And Scams
A phishing attack aims to get you to disclose your personal information like passwords, login credentials of your work account, credit card, online banking, etc. According to a recent study, in the past year between April 2019 and September 2019, 4.5 million phishing attempts have been made. Since then, a lot of awareness in the form of ads, messages, billboards, etc. have been spread regarding it.
To secure yourself against phishing attacks, make sure that you don’t share your passwords or other sensitive information in any case with anyone. Also, do not open and download files from unknown sources.
Tips To Stay Safe On Social Media Platforms
1. Do Not Overshare
Posting personal information on social media sites exposes you, your loved ones and also your physical belongings to local and online criminals. Refrain from posting names, numbers, addresses, location, etc. in text or media.
2. Deactivate Geotagging
Geotagging allows anyone and everyone to see where you are at any given time. Still, if you post your experience of a place or an event on your social media handles, post it at a later date.
3. Ensure Strong Privacy Settings
Time and again, check that your social media accounts are protected with the strongest privacy settings. This will help make sure that the only people you know can see your posts.
4. Secure Your Device
Choose a password for your device that is strong and uncommon. Also, make sure that you enable two-factor authentication which requires you to sign in using your password as well as a unique, one-time-use code to ensure complete protection.
Subscribe to the newsletter of Chimp&z Inc., a social media agency in Mumbai and Delhi to stay in touch with the latest social media updates and more.
About the author: Taniya Jain is a content writer at Chimp&z Inc. Apart from writing, she likes to cook, explore different cuisines, read romance novels, listen to music, and dance.