You’re probably aware that social media has a dark side. You’ve heard about cyberbullying and data breaches, but you might not know the extent to which you’re exposed by using social media. It’s true that social media can make you vulnerable to threats such as identity theft or scams if you don’t take care of what you post or protect yourself in other ways. If you want to continue using these tools safely, here are some healthy habits for staying safe online:
1. Use a strong password!
This is the most important thing you can do to protect your online accounts. If hackers can break into your account, they may be able to access sensitive information about you, like bank statements and credit card statements. Hackers can also use this information for identity theft or other malicious purposes.
To ensure that your passwords abide by the utmost standards of internet security, keep these points in mind while setting up your passwords:
- Choose passwords that are long (at least 8 characters) and complex (mixing upper- and lowercase letters with numbers).
- Don’t use the same password for multiple sites—you might remember it better if you create unique passwords for each one of your online accounts.
- Don’t use personal information like birth dates in any of your passwords because it is easy for hackers to guess these kinds of things based on public data such as public records databases or Facebook profile information that isn’t private enough
2. Post the least amount of personal information you can
If you don’t have to post your personal information, don’t. For example, if someone is asking you for your phone number or email address, it’s okay to say, “I will give it to them when we meet up,” instead of automatically giving it out online.
You can also use a nickname for yourself, instead of using your real name. This will make it harder for people who want to steal from or harm you in any way, because they won’t be able to find out who exactly they’re dealing with!
3. Don’t use social media to complain about work matters
This is a big one and a debatable one, too—and it’s easy to forget. You may get frustrated with your boss or co-workers when you’re working, but keep in mind that many people who don’t know you very well can see what you post online. And while they may not be paying attention at the time, someone could screenshot something seemingly innocuous and hold it against you later on. So, if there are things going on at work that make you unhappy, talk about them with someone close—not publicly.
4. Don’t overshare details about your daily routine
You may think that posting the details of your daily life is harmless and even a bit fun, but it could be putting you in danger. For example, if you’re taking an unfamiliar route to work or school, and someone sees that post, they could potentially use it to track you down. Similarly, if you post photos of places where you’ll be traveling or staying at night (like hotels), this information can be used by scammers who want to rob tourists of their belongings or money.
Finally, don’t share any personal details about friends and family members—even those who are not on social media themselves! Scammers can easily find out what kind of car someone drives based on photos posted online by friends and family members; this information could then lead them directly towards potential victims’ houses when they know what kind of cars are parked outside each day when everyone returns home from work/school/traveling/etc., which makes it easier than ever before for criminals looking for easy targets.
Another scary side of this would be social media impersonation. This means that someone could pretend to be you on social media and connect with people you know for malicious purposes. You can imagine to what extent this can hurt you and your social life.
5. Use two-step verification for social media accounts
Simply put, two-step verification is a security measure used by most social media companies to verify that you are whom you say you are. This means that if anyone tries to sign in as you on your account, they will need both your password and another piece of information from you (like a code sent via text message) before gaining access.
Social media can make you vulnerable if you don’t take care of what you post and protect yourself.
Social media is a fun way to connect with friends, but it can also make you vulnerable.
Social media use has exploded over the past few years, and it’s important to understand the risks of using these sites. The more information you share on social media platforms, the more exposed you are to hackers and other malicious actors who may seek to take advantage of your personal data.
Hackers have become quite adept at using public information like tweets or posts on Facebook or Instagram as a way of finding out details about their targets—details that they can then exploit in order to hack into a target’s accounts or impersonate them online so that they can steal their identity or personal information from financial institutions (e.g., banks).
Remember: social media is a great tool for connecting with friends, family, and colleagues. But it’s also important to keep in mind that these platforms are not always secure, and hackers can target your personal information. Avoid oversharing on Twitter or other networks by following these tips!