UBiquitense is a great blog to visit if you’re interested in technology or photography, and I’m grateful that they have decided to share my article on their page. After you’re done reading, why not check out their article “4 Ways to Save On Your Mobile Services Costs”?
The rise in the use of social media websites has many of us sharing much more than we ought to. Even when we are just sharing bits of information with those on our friends list, there are still sometimes ways for people with malicious intent to obtain whatever we’re posting—or worse—hack into our account. You might have seen it before: your friend starts posting videos that have some text and a link included.
The text of course will be describing some reason why you must click on the link in order to view the whole video. And when you do, you may be sent to a website that asks for your login details or some personal information to sign up for an account. Unfortunately, with posts as these, it’s not always easy to spot which ones are the scams and which aren’t since they sometimes seem very natural.
So how do you protect yourself on social media with all these threats to your security floating around? It’s actually simpler than you think. Here are a few tips that should be able to help you avoid the issues that come along with some of the more common social media security threats.
Before Logging In…
It’s always a wise choice to have your computer, smartphone, or tablet properly secured before you even log into your online accounts. To do this, you should start by installing a good anti-virus program. If you’re using Android or iOS, you can easily find one by searching the app store on your device.
Avast Free Mobile Security is a great choice for those who prefer mobile devices over PCs, and it also comes along with anti-theft features, which can help you locate or wipe the data off of your device if it ever goes missing. For PC users, I would suggest that you consider installing Panda Free Antivirus. Though it doesn’t offer anti-theft features, it has an easy to use and modern interface that is suitable for every user, no matter if they are new to computers or already have several years of experience using the net.
Another very useful security program to have installed on your device is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Just as with anti-virus programs, VPNs are available for your mobile devices as well. If you’re new to the term, a VPN is a remote server that secures your connection.
When you connect to a VPN, your internet traffic is routed through the remote server, which masks your IP address and encrypts your connection. Since your online traffic is being routed through the VPN, you’re more likely to be able to remain anonymous while browsing the net and also far less likely to have your connection hacked. This is especially important for mobile device users, as it’s not uncommon to use public WiFi while on the go, which is an unsecured network.
Just like with anti-virus programs, there are lots of different VPNs to choose from and their features vary. If you need help choosing a VPN, check out securethoughts.com/vpn-review/ for a list of some of the best.
One of the main ways people can risk their safety on social media is by sharing a little too much information. On Facebook, your location can even be put out in the open if you’re not careful, and by location, I mean your home address or the address to wherever you are at the time you post. If you’re using a VPN, you shouldn’t have to worry about that, unless you accidentally share your location by writing about it on the site.
Whenever you travel somewhere, it’s best to wait until you return home before updating your page with details about where you went. The same goes for when you’re uploading photos that might clue someone in on where you are. For example, avoid sharing photos that include business signs or anything else that might easily give away your location. Of course, it’s also wise to avoid sharing your home address too.
Even outside of social media sites, it’s always a good idea to keep your personal information to yourself as much as possible. This includes banking information, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, where you work or attend school, and anything else that might make it easy for a scammer to find you or gain access to your accounts.
Though there are new scams emerging on a regular basis, there are a few ways you can spot scams on social media sites. Many of the scams on social media pages tend to include a hyperlink that the poster is trying to persuade you to click. It could be that they are claiming that you can receive a gift card if you click on the hyperlink, or they might be posting a video clip that will require you to visit the link in order to view it.
Sometimes the websites the links lead to appear to be completely legitimate, but they will often ask you to provide your information, such as your name, address, and sometimes even your credit card number. Giving out all of this information to untrustworthy websites can unfortunately lead to identity theft, so it’s important to take caution when clicking on any unfamiliar links. Be aware that these types of scams can sometimes be posted from your friends’ pages too, as their accounts could have been hacked.
It’s not uncommon for social media sites to host a heap of fake profiles. Some might be the common “catfish” who is just looking for extra attention and someone to talk to, but others might actually have even more malicious intentions, such as hacking into your computer or obtaining your banking information. Unfortunately it can be hard to spot the phonies from the legitimate users online, so your best bet is to either avoid direct contact with unfamiliar people on social media sites or to just act with caution at the very least.
Even if someone might seem like your friend, there’s still no reason to be sharing your banking details or other personal information with them (such as your passwords, for example).
Whether it’s just social media sites you’re worried about, or you’ve considered the risks associated with using the internet as a whole, the tips mentioned should make you more aware of how you can avoid some of less favorable aspects of the net. The truth is, scammers can be lurking just about anywhere online; no one is immune to falling into their traps, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t secure your connection at the very least. When you do, as well as learn to be wary of what you encounter online, you’ll be on your way to protecting yourself, both on social media and other sites.