6 ways to protect your privacy on social media

6 ways to protect your privacy on social media

20 November 2020

Social media has become a huge part of our lives in the last decade. Many adults spend up to 4 hours on the Internet, mostly on social media. All of us have social media accounts where we can share pictures and videos of our everyday lives. Thanks to social media, we are able to contact our family members and friends at any time of the day, no matter the location.

But, our online reputation is very important nowadays. Even job recruiters take a look at the applicant’s social media accounts before hiring.

It’s important to note that social media platforms also have a dark side, especially if we share too much personal information. If you are worried about the prying eyes of strangers, nosy relatives or your employer, you should consider protecting your privacy on all social media accounts.

It’s hard to keep your privacy on sites like Facebook and Instagram. There are some things that you can do to protect yourself online and ensure your posts and pictures are seen only by those you will allow to see.

We compiled a list of tips in order to protect yourself, and your personal information online from prying eyes.

1. Take a look at all your social media accounts, even those you don’t use anymore

First, you need to take a look at your social media presence and what kind of information you have already shared and who can see it. Also be sure to track down older accounts that you haven't opened in years.

For instance, you may have made an account in high school and forgot to delete it. This old profile might be filled with posts that you would rather not be associated with as an adult. You can try logging in and delete the posts or complete deactivate your accounts. Usually websites have account recovery options available if you have forgotten your account information.

2. Understand your privacy settings and keep them up to date.

All social media platforms have their own privacy settings, and you should know how they work. For instance, on Facebook you can limit the people who can see your profile, as well as make individual photos and posts private. If your Instagram profile is set to private, only your followers can see your photos and stories.

It’s essential to keep your privacy settings up to date as social media platforms sometimes change their privacy policies which might expose your profile and your personal information. Even if your information is set to private, social media profiles can still publicly show some of your information like hometown, workplace or education.

Search yourself up from time to time while you are logged out in order to see what others can see without being your friend or follower on your social media accounts.

3. Enable the two-factor authentication feature.

An attacker can still hack into your social media account despite the privacy settings. You can add another layer of protection by enabling the two-factor authentication. After enabling this option, you will need to confirm your identity twice before you log into your account - once with a password, then again with a code or link sent to you through email or text. This measure will make it more difficult for hackers to access your account even if they know your password.

However, the two-factor authentication doesn’t mean that you can’t be hacked. Hackers can still gain access to the accounts you use to verify your login. Always check your inbox for emails asking you to verify activity, as this could be a sign a hacker is attempting to access your accounts. If you think your account has been compromised, you should change your password immediately.

4. Watch out for fake social media accounts.

Fake accounts are usually set up by bots or fraudsters who run scams, collect your personal information, etc. Even though these accounts may usually seem harmless, the reality is different. Fake accounts exist on all social media platforms. It’s been reported that Facebook alone removes billions of fake accounts every year.

It’s important to know that you should never accept any friend or follower requests from people you don't know. If you think that you have already interacted with a fake account, you should block and report the account. Never give your personal information to anyone you don’t know on social media.

5. Be careful of social media scams and fraud.

Social media scams are becoming more widespread and it’s difficult to detect them. Scammers use social media in order to trick them into either giving out money or sharing their personal information and impersonate as the accounts they developed relationships with.

Fraudsters also use social media for phishing scams or scams in which the main targets are children. Although you may think that nobody can fool you on social media, it can happen to anyone, even to the most careful people. The best way to protect yourself from social media scams and fraud is to monitor your friend and follower requests closely, and be careful before talking to strangers on social media.

6. Limit your social media posts.

Despite being careful for your privacy, you should also be aware of what you post and share on social media. All of your pictures and videos can be downloaded and your posts screenshotted very easily. This means that all your posts can live even after you delete them. Because of the permanence of online content, you should be extra cautious of what you post on your social media profiles in the first place.

How to protect your privacy?

It’s important to be vigilant when you want to protect your personal data online. However, you should consider adding another layer of defense such as an antivirus software program which will monitor you whenever your personal information is compromised.

With our encryption software VAULT, your identity will be fully protected. We created this software program to keep your personal information such as credit card details, medical records, and financial records to be safe and prevent all external access and data mining.

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