Did you know more than 70% of all Americans use social media? Younger demographics use it more than 90%! According to Pew Reports, we are on social media and at WareGeeks Solutions, believe a majority of social media-using Americans are putting their privacy at risk.
When you sign up for any of the social media platforms including those below you are giving away more information than you probably imagine. Have you ever read the disclosures and disclaimers when you hit “agree” to the terms and conditions on the sites? You’re not alone:
- Snap Chat
- What’s App
- And others that emerge daily
Don’t take online quizzes or answer the “list” questions. Consider the questions on this list:
- What street did you grow up on
- What era of music did you listen to
- What is your favorite food/color/television show
- How many times have you been married
- How many children/grandchildren do you have
- What’s the last book you read, etc
When you answer these you aren’t just “getting to know a friend”.. you are giving the social media platform (and hackers) valuable information that could be used to:
- Set up a fake social media account
- Steal your identity
- Hack your passwords.
Here are ways to keep your social media private information private
Many people use the same password for every account OR they use a variation of the same password: Monkey123 or monk3y!23 – a hacker can get through that password in a matter of minutes with a brute force attack.
When you use the same password or a variation, once a hacker gets into one of your accounts, the hacker will try to get into all of your accounts.
Don’t neglect these privacy precautions:
- Use a tough-to-crack password. Your password – better yet, a passphrase – should be at least 10 characters long – the longer the better. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords.
- Use a different password for each site you log into.
- Set up two factor authentication (2FA). This one step can prevent a hacker from getting into your accounts.
- Set privacy levels on your social media pages. On Facebook, as an example, you can set your privacy to be, “Public,” “Friends only,” “Friends of friends.” The level you choose is the level of information a potential hacker can get about you.
- When you’re “tagged” in a photo you don’t check the “tag.” You can choose to “not allow tagging” by changing the visibility settings in your social media pages.
- Does anyone on social media need your physical address or your phone number? No.
- Chat apps are as vulnerable to hacking as social media sites. NEVER reveal any personal, private or financial information to anyone in a chat. A caveat is if you have initiated a chat with your banking institution.
- Don’t share locations of your photos.
- When you sign up for a new site and it asks you to “sign in using Facebook/Twitter/Gmail” don’t do that. Use a new password for each site.
Cybersecurity matters whether you’re an individual or a business owner. In fact, many business owners we work with are lax in private social media accounts and that carries over into their business cybersecurity protocols.
Schedule an appointment with Seth, President, WareGeeks Solutions.
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based complete IT consultant and solutions provider. We specialist in Data Protection, specifically Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (#BCDR). We work with medium and large law firms and in the healthcare industry. If you have IT or security questions contact Seth at WareGeeks Solutions. For information or a consultation, call (877) 653-7146, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.waregeeks.com