Social media and their associated social usernames and passwords have become part of everyday life. While email is still the preferred tool for cybercriminals, social media has become more popular because when you create social media accounts, you open the details of your life to cybercriminals searching for personal information. Social media accounts continuously ask you to provide more details about your date of birth, location, phone number(s), workplace, education, home town, and family members.
They want this information to target you for personalized feeds, custom preferences, and advertisements and to help connect you with people, events, or groups that fit your interests.
On social media, limit your Personal Identifiable Information (PII), which is information such as your mobile number or home address. Whenever using or creating a new social media account, only enter the basic information required to get the account activated. Avoid the temptation to add more details. If you’ve already added this information, change your settings to hidden/private or remove them from your profile.
As you create more online accounts, social media accounts offer themselves as a single sign on to simplify and reduce the ever-growing cyber fatigue of remembering passwords, but such convenience disguises huge risks. If your social media account is compromised, a cybercriminal can easily access all your associated accounts by using that one social media account password. Instead of using social logon, consider using a password manager.
Cybercriminals also use social media communication and chat to send you an image or video where you’re tagged. It may even come from another compromised friend’s account and appear legitimate to you. When you see such messages delete, archive, or report them and do not click on any links, images, or attachments. If the message appears to come from a friend, message or call that person to verify.
An activity log lets you review and manage what you share on social media. Most Internet accounts and credentials record when and where you log in to your accounts, which browser was used, what you posted, photos you get tagged in, new devices, failed login attempts, and much more. Get into the habit of reviewing your account activity logs. Get alerts about your logging activity through proactive notifications. Continuously reviewing your activity log allows you to get familiar with your social activity, be more cautious, and limit what you post.
Enable login notifications on existing and new devices and browsers. Such notifications of unusual activity are good indicators that your account has been compromised and is now being abused. Also, periodically check your sent emails to check for any suspicious sent email.