Account Security & How to Minimise Risk
Social media is used worldwide to keep connected and to share and remember the special moments in our lives. Because social media is worldwide, this can sometimes lead to unwanted hackers trying to undermine people's accounts and collect personal information.
Keeping social media accounts secure is very important,especially in today's world, as people have many new and creative ways to hack into accounts. Once they gain access to your social media accounts, they can find many pieces of information and possibly access bank accounts, emails, and other private accounts.
Many apps have their methods to minimise account fraud and impersonation, but they also come with the risk that these methods won't always work.
Over the past year, scammers and hackers have grown in numbers. I'm sure many people have received a call from a number they have never seen before or a message over social media from someone you barely know, suddenly asking you to click on a link to view a picture or something. Many other people I know and I have had this problem. These hackers canbe very convincing, and sometimes the outcome can be severe if it goes too far.
Understanding that social media platforms store your personal information is also essential. They don't necessarily guarantee the safety of the data added to your account profile(such as phone number), even if an account is private.
It is also important to note that many people on social media are not who they say they are. When accepting follow requests, you must check that you know the person and have a few mutual friends you also know and trust.
This can also lead to each person's digital footprint, which contains all the information you post online. Scammers can use this information to steal your identity and make phishing messages more convincing. This is why it is crucial to consider what you are posting and who has access to it.
By doing a few of the following things, you can reduce the risk of obtaining unwanted visitors:
Choosing a strong, complicated password (not using a singular word or anything that connects to who you are)
By using a unique password for all accounts–if you use the same password for multiple accounts, you can make it incredibly easy for someone to hack into your more personal accounts like your bank account.
Set your accounts to Private and ensure you know who can view your posts
Check your third-party authentication as they can gain access to your accounts.
Enable two-factor authentication as this confirms the user's identity. If someone sends you a link, make sure you are 100% sure it is genuine before clicking on it. If you aren't sure, delete.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure the safety of your personal information. Of course,there is always a chance for your account to be hacked through someone else's account,so it is also essential to change your passwords every three months, or at least every school holidays.
There are also different ways to report account impersonation on the various social media platforms:
Facebook To report an account, first go to the history profile you want to report. Click on the three dots (...) to the right of the screen and select Find Support or Report Profile.
Instagram To report an account or a post, first click on their user name from their feed or post. Tap the three dots (...) at the top right of their profile page. And finally, tap Report.
TikTok To report an account or video, click on their profile.Tap on the three-dot symbol (...). Then select Report.
Snapchat To report abuse, press and hold on their Name. Then click on the (⋮) three dots and press "report."
As you can see, there are ways to report accounts and posts on these leading social media platforms.Overall, to prevent the possibility of your account from being hacked, there are many small but necessary things that you can do to secure your social media account. As well as ensuring the protection of yourself, it provides the safety of your family and friends.
As the number of scammers and hackers increases, we need to be more aware of what we post, who we are giving access to our information, educating each other on the safest ways to use these new platforms so that we can still share the important moments in our lives and communicate with the people we love all around the world.
About the Author, Drue:
I’m 16, and I joined the Youth Committee as I believe it will be such a significant learning experience that will go towards the security of the online world.
I believe social media is such a large part of today’s world, positively and negatively impacting individuals and society. Hopefully, through the Youth Committee, I can help create a safer online space for everyone.