We live in a time when we use social networks on a daily basis. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other. Like it or not, directly or indirectly we are connected to the rest of the world. However, we do not always take into account the security measures necessary to maintain our privacy.
Disclosure of personal information
People tend to flood with information while completing profiles on social networks. We must bear in mind that we are not facing a job interview or that only our friends are going to read it. We do not need to report everything and everyone. Experts believe that revealing too much personal information creates a security crack. Attackers use personal information such as date of birth, name of family members, phone numbers, physical address, etc.
All this to execute multiple iterations to decipher the passwords. Therefore, the less information we put, the better.
Maintain private, private information
We often post notes or messages on a friend’s wall. This is also visible to other Facebook users or the social network that is. There is no formula to decide what is safe to publish in public and what is not, but you have to use common sense. Some things must be kept between friends or family. Publish certain information on public walls puts at risk not only ourselves but the privacy of our friend.
The images (and their legends) speak more than a thousand words
It is said that a photo is worth a thousand words. In the case of social networks even more. Also, if we upload images with an informative legend, it puts us even more at risk. We are giving information about our habits, our movements, to possible attackers in the networks. It is an important aspect to maintain security in social networks.
We must ensure that our content on social networks is visible only to friends and family. We can create lists of types of friends and customize the visibility of each publication. Not everything should be visible to that person who worked with us for a few weeks a few years ago, for example. There may be things that we do not want to share with all the contacts.
Beware of GPS and location
GPS is a common feature in all smartphones today. In addition to helping us as we pass through an unknown city, GPS is also used for geotagging . It means that we can attach location information to any multimedia content that we send or receive. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram use this feature extensively to help users mark the location where a photo was taken, and help make the profile more “social”.
Cyber attackers can easily interpret information such as our economic status, lifestyle, frequent locations and daily routine through media with geographic labels.
A strong key, the first defense
One of the most elementary ways to strengthen our social media account is to create a password. This, as is logical, has to be difficult to decipher. Security experts often recommend the use of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Professional hackers use ‘a dictionary attack’ as the first step in decoding a password.
A dictionary attack involves matching the password with millions of common passwords (such as “123456”) stored in a library.
Do not save passwords
This is a very common practice. I recognize that on my phone I have some applications like this. We just open it and that’s it, without having to put the key every time we use it. However this is not a good method. If someone physically accesses our phone or computer, it could easily enter our accounts.
Let’s think that we have lost the mobile. We can have some access code, but everything can be broken. The most advisable thing is not to save passwords.
Beware of the links
In social networks we must be careful with the links that reach us. Even if they come from a friend. You have to pay attention to the link. In what it contains. Many times it can be a trap, as we already saw from the famous Facebook video. Our contact does it unconsciously, of course. But it is really a malware. We should not sting in what seems like an easy thing.
Something that cannot be missing is to have security tools and programs. But this does not extend only to security on social networks, but to any action we take on the Internet. We always have to have some antivirus installed. This way we will be able to face possible threats that put at risk the good functioning of our equipment.
Perhaps the most important of these 10 tips to maintain security in social networks. The vast majority of malware needs user interaction to run. We must always be alert and use common sense.