Protecting Your Online Privacy on Social Media

By Sandeep Bagaitkar

Published: 15 Mar, 2021

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are great ways of connecting with people, friends and family. They play a vital role in our daily life. People tend to share their personal lives on these platforms.

But if you are not careful about how you share information on social media; you can be a easy target for cyber criminals. Millions of people fall victim every year to data breaches and identity theft. If you let your guard down, it can cost you loss of personal data along with loss of peace of mind. Taking online safety measures is the most tedious task, but with few precautions you can stay safe on the internet.

So, how you can be safe on these social media platforms ? Chances are there is always a risk of data breach and privacy encroachment. The good news is with some simple practices, you can reduce the chances of this happening.

Always use a Strong Password and a Password Manager

People tend to use the same password for multiple social accounts, this is really very bad practice. Never use the same password for another site or social media login. Try to use a longer password. Minimum eight characters long, twelve could be better. Use capital letters, numbers, and special characters while creating your password. Don’t use common phrases. Try to change the password every month. If you are having any problem with remembering or maintaining passwords, use a password manager. Currently, browsers also do have some extensions that can serve the purpose.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Nowadays, social media platforms offer multi-factor authentication. Do turn it on to safeguard your accounts. This will be an additional security layer for your account.

Adjust the social media platform’s privacy settings

Every social media platform has its own privacy settings. You should tweak them. You should carefully choose who can see or share your personal information, posts or pics. You must be choosy whether you want your posts to be seen by everyone, a special group, or friends only. Tagging friends is fun but it is an invasion of privacy too. Always ask for a review when someone tags you in the post or photo before publishing it.

Be careful what you share

Don’t share your personal information online. Try to keep your social media profiles barren. Your phone number, email address, home address, work details, or your child’s school is a worth lot of money to hackers and data mining companies. Do double check the background of pictures before sharing because it may reveal any info like street signs or license plates. Your vacation details or events with your home address can give criminals an opportunity to ransack your home while you’re away. Never share your banking or financial information, including the name of your bank, credit or debit card numbers, or any other monetary details.

Try not to use your social profiles to sign into different sites

While it’s helpful to use the “sign in with Facebook” alternative as opposed to making another record, this might opens you to potential security chances. Each time you share your information across stages, you’re pooling increasingly more of your information in a solitary area. In the event that you believe the outsider site, you’re signing into with Facebook, Instagram, etc. yet there are the chances that you don’t. Don’t forget that your Facebook information and any information you’ve shared on different platforms using Facebook or other social platform’s credentials could be compromised if that other site/ platform is hacked. So take some time and create a different profile for different sites.

Understand what sorts of individual information social media store and offer

When someone signs up for a social media site, most users offer information like name, gender, date of birth, and email address. Some social media sites still go on to collect other information like an IP address or the types of things like shared, liked, or commented information.

It is better to make sure that you are not oversharing information is by always reading the fine print. If you are modifying your privacy settings on any social media platform, look for the “Apps and Websites” option under “Settings.” Don’t miss to carefully review which websites are using your information.

Use VPN

One way to keep your conversations, messages, and calls secure is using an encryption tool called VPN. It helps you to keep your communication encrypted and secure. All your information will be passed through a secure tunnel between the websites and your VPN services provider.

Avoid Clickbait

Social media will never take responsibility for third-party apps that appear on the site. When prompted to ‘comment below to get free gift’ or ‘check which holiday tour you are eligible for’ avoid clicking these random baits. They are third-party apps that try to capture and misuse your private information. You don’t know what else these sites are using your data for.

Keep your computer system and antivirus updated

Always maintain your system updated with all security patches. Do use the latest antivirus. Don’t ever make a mistake using an internet-enabled computer without installing anti-malware and antivirus software. Also, don’t forget to keep your mobile devices safe by using antivirus apps to safeguard your online activity and important data.

Turn off your location

When you change your privacy settings, never forget to turn off your device’s location sharing. This way, you’ll avoid giving reviews to places and businesses you frequently visit.  Also, turning off your location prevents your Facebook, email and Phone Lookup.

Don’t forget to log off from your account when used

Last but not the least, never forget to log off from your account when you are done with the activities.

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