Have you ever stopped to wonder what would happen if a hacker managed to take over your social media accounts? Or maybe you’ve had the absolute horror of that actually happening?
As much as we all hate to admit it - the thought of losing access to our social media is, for most of us, a nightmare. If you’re a regular user, there’s memories, messages and more all stored behind that password. And the thought of losing access to them even on a temporary basis, can be something that we just don’t want to think about.
For a business user the prospect of being hacked can be even worse - you’ve got all the same data as a regular user, except this time you’ve also potentially got the reputation of your
business at stake as well. And if you’ve got access to client accounts through your social media then it’s got the potential to be utterly catastrophic.
This is why it’s so important to not only understand the security features that are offered, but to actually utilise them. Taking the time to get to grips with how to make your account as secure as possible might only take 20 minutes now, but it could save hours of stress and heartache if you get hacked and can’t get the access back.
Probably one of the easiest ways to make your social media more secure is to change your password. Change it regularly and make it something that you’re not using for another account. Google Chrome has a brilliant password generator, and a quick Google will bring up hundreds of websites offering the same feature. You want it to be entirely random, with upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols - the lot. If it looks like something a Twitter CEO might name their child, you’re on the right track.
Next, have a different mind-boggling password for each site you’re logging into. Ideally every single website should be different. And no, Password123! and PAssword123! do not count as
different passwords. If you can’t face having a different password for every website, at the very least make sure that your email password is different to the others, and very, very secure.
Then, because if you’ve got multiple, really secure passwords the likelihood of you almost instantly forgetting them is quite high, use a password manager. Again Google Chrome offers
this facility, or there’s various others such as LastPass that will store your encrypted passwords and autofill for you when it’s needed. This will mean you can stop making a habitual part of your log-in process pressing ‘I forgot my password’.
Enable 2 factor authentication. Setting it up might be a bit of a pain, but as we’ve mentioned, it’s short term pain for long term gain - if someone manages to hack into your account, you’ll be glad you set it up!
2 Factor Authentication (2FA) works by requiring two different forms of verification when you attempt to log in. One of these is generally your standard login details, but the second can vary. Some websites will text or email a code, some will have their own app that you need to use, or it can be done using biometric data such as your fingerprint.
The idea behind it is that it significantly reduces the ability for a hacker to access your account remotely - even if they’ve managed to crack your password, they’re still going to need access to your 2FA code.
My last tip is an old one, but still completely valid. Keep that antivirus software up to date! Change the settings so that it’s automatically backing up, and doing regular virus scans, and
don’t let the subscription lapse. Many antivirus options now also include protection for a device such as your phone or tablet - think about where you’re usually using the internet, and protect accordingly.
I hope these tips help - as hackers and scams become increasingly high tech, it’s important to ensure that we’re staying up to date with current best practice. The alternative is no fun at all to consider!
Now - I’m off to change my passwords…
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