Why You Should Secure Your Social Media Accounts As Much As Your Bank

2020-06-30 - 5 min read

You surely don’t want a cybercriminal to hijack your online persona and snatch all the private data associated with it. But social media is the weak spot through which hackers can access all this. Below, we will discuss social media risks and give you tips on how to minimize them.

Why you should protect your social media accounts

Social media has become a constant presence in our public and private lives. We upload and store tons of personal info there, from our current location to secret albums of embarrassing college photos. Moreover, our accounts are not isolated, and we use them as tools to connect to other apps.

However, people still tend to underestimate the importance of social media safety. In March 2020, NordPass surveyed hundreds of people in the UK and USA and found out that they tend not to use unique passwords for their social media accounts. Also, they treat social media hacks as potentially less harmful than, for example, bank accounts or online stores.

But it shouldn’t be like this. By taking over your social media profile, hackers can do a lot of damage — and even get to your banking account. They can find out tons of info about you, your relatives, and friends; they may also try spreading malware or offensive content on your behalf. Moreover, they can access your other Facebook-linked profiles, such as your Spotify account, where your credit card data is.

How to find out if your account has been hacked

Here are a few symptoms of a hacked account:

  • You notice messages and content you don’t remember posting or sending;

  • You get notifications about attempted logins or other actions you don’t remember taking;

  • You notice devices or connections you don’t recognize in your sessions or recent activity lists;

  • You see people in your friend lists you don’t recognize;

  • You notice unfamiliar apps tied to your social media account;

  • You can no longer log in to your account.

What should you do if your account has been compromised

If you have already noticed something suspicious, you should react immediately. Here are a few steps we recommend if someone tried to get hold of your account:

  • Remove or log off all the devices you don’t recognize. Most social media platforms have sections where you can see the devices from which someone tried to access your account. Remove the ones you don’t know right away;

  • Immediately change your password. Check how to reset your password and recover your account in case your Facebook has been hacked here. You can also find the same guidelines for Twitter and Instagram. If you cannot recover your account, contact the social media platform directly;

  • Inform your friends about the hack at once, warning them to ignore any messages or links coming from your account;

  • Adjust your privacy settings and review whether any suspicious apps are connected to your social media account;

  • If you feel that someone is trying to stalk, harass, or bully you, don’t engage in further conversation. Block and report that person. In extreme cases, report to the law-enforcement institutions.

How to stay safe on social media

Here are some social media security tips for your safety:

  • Log off when not using it, because someone else could take it over. It is especially important when you use somebody else’s devices;

  • Always check for any attempted connections or sessions from unfamiliar devices. Enable notifications that will notify you about all new attempts to connect;

  • Don’t leave your devices unattended as someone might take them and use your accounts;

  • Don’t open suspicious links and messages. Social media platforms are popular for various bots, scammers, and fraudsters, ready to drain your credit card or simply harass you. Also, they are fertile ground for phishing scams, so look out for those, too;

  • Don’t befriend people you don’t know or don’t have any similar connections or interests. The social media world is full of fake profiles created to pass on misinformation, initiate catfishing attempts, or even spread malware. We recommend you to report such cases if you suspect that’s the case;

  • Don’t post too much personal info or any sensitive or confidential information. It might attract unwanted attention or even cyberstalkers. When it comes to work-related info, it is better to keep it separate on your business profile or a B2B social media platform;

  • Link as few apps to your social media profiles as possible and stick to the ones you trust. It is better to create separate accounts than to keep all your eggs in one basket. Every app is a potential gateway for hackers to your social media account and vice versa;

  • Be skeptical about the information on social media news feeds. Remember that social media is rife with fake news, cheap click-bait- headlines, and trolling. Always double-check the source and the legitimacy of any information before spreading it further;

  • Always update your social media apps to have the latest security features;

  • Use the latest security software to protect yourself from malware and viruses;

  • Always research the background of a social media platform you are using. Check whether it has been involved in grave violations of privacy, enabled surveillance, or experienced some massive data leaks. Also, check its ties and associations, and whether they match your values. If the platform does not look ethical and safe enough, it’s better to avoid using it;

  • Use strong and secure passwords. Forget Paul1234 or password1111. Make them complex and impossible to guess. And try our NordPass app to store them safely.

Keep in mind that most social media platforms are business enterprises, and none of the fun comes for free. While most platforms don’t charge you, you pay them by providing tons of personal data, which they may use for marketing and surveillance purposes or pass it to third parties. So use them cautiously and always think twice before giving away your precious data.

Monica Webster
Monica Webster
Verified author
Monica is the spirit of our content team. Her bubbliness and creativity sparkle her articles. She loves to investigate various security related problems and bring useful tips to readers. When she is not writing about technology, she explores art.
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