2020 introduced a global pandemic, new work arrangements, and several cybersecurity threats that were not so common before. Cyberstalking is one of those cybercrimes that’s not going anytime soon. Users, especially social media enthusiasts who love sharing and network with people from distinct parts of the world should follow healthy social media habits in 2021 to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Why is it important to follow social media safety?
The internet was initially made to be a safe platform for everyone who wanted to exchange important information with the world. Unfortunately, it isn’t as secure and private in reality as it was supposed to be. Certain online entities, like internet service providers, trackers, and even attackers can view your online behavior, and your social media is their easiest resort. Any intruder who wants to take cues about your behavior simply needs to follow you on your social media accounts and he can figure out your likes, dislikes, and other preferences that shape your real and digital identity. Therefore, do not trade your security and privacy against some hours of entertainment and put your right foot forward by developing these social media habits:
An attacker can quickly get into somebody’s social media accounts by cracking the password, and the process becomes faster if the password is weak or based on your personal information. It’s high time you change your password, and create one that is complex, unique, and contains a random sequence of alphanumeric and special characters instead of your date of birth or spouse’s name. To make password management easier and convenient, consider using third-party apps like Dashlane.
2 Factor Authentication
Social media platforms like Facebook now have 2-factor Authentication options that you can enable today and provide an added layer of protection to your accounts. The best 2FA feature is biometric verification, which requires a fingerprint, a thumb impression, or face recognition to unlock an app. Though you can’t set biometric verification on Facebook as this is not a built-in feature, you can either choose One Time Password tokens or deploy a third-party 2FA provider like Twilio Authy.
Virtual Private Networks
Most people use Android VPN to stream digital services or play online games. But they are made to do more than that. A Virtual Private Network is a secure tunnel established on a conventional network to pass traffic privately. The software, whether it’s on your Windows or an Android VPN app, encrypts the overall online traffic and protects users on shared networks or public Wi-Fi services.
If you are using your friend’s device, or a device that’s usually shared between 2 or more individuals, make sure to always login in Incognito Mode. These are private windows and do not store passwords, cookies, or browsing history. This means once your session is over, no intruder will be able to follow you through cookies or create a digital fingerprint based on your online movements.
It’s fun to share a few photographs, announce promotions and personal achievements, and mark check-ins at new restaurants. However, this socializing experience can soon turn into a nightmare if a cyberbully or cyberstalker gets to pursue you on your social media accounts. Therefore, only share limited information on your social profiles and avoid adding your home address specially.
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Review Social Profiles
If you have a huge friends list, it is ideal to review it every 3 months. Check the friends’ list as well as the followers’ list and report, block any catfishing or fake profiles you notice in your list. If you are a parent, do keep an eye on the online social interactions of your children and check if an unknown profile engages too much with your child’s activities.
We often exchange our private information via Facebook Messenger or Instagram, but that’s definitely not a good idea because these accounts can be hacked easily. Avoid exchanging private information like CVs and resumes through social media accounts, especially the bank account details. Even if it is your employer or employee, tell them to communicate these details through encrypted email services.
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Avoid Public Wi-Fi
While public Wi-Fi services are free, they can be dangerous for your social profiles. These are weak networks and can be penetrated easily for private data sniffing. As a cybersecurity measure, we suggest users avoid using their social media profiles or logging in by TYPING their user IDs or passwords while browsing through public Wi-Fi. Intruders may have different motives behind tracking your internet activities: cyberstalking, selling your data on the dark web, or misusing your private information to advance serious crimes. Establish these social media etiquette, share limited information, use digital security tools, educate the ones you love, and take your next step towards digital privacy and online security.