‘Why would a hacker want to break into my Facebook account when there is nothing of any real value there?’ you may think.
Think again. Your seemingly harmless information such as holiday photos, latest purchases and restaurant reviews can be a goldmine when they end up in the wrong hands. Cyber crooks are more and more interested in getting hold of this information as we get increasingly comfortable with sharing every aspect of our lives with eachother, online. The time has come when tightening our grip around our personal details is highly advisable.
We asked Janet Fouts, an author of several books, a frequently requested speaker on topics such as Digital Marketing and Social Media and the founder of Tatu Digital Media to give us her views on the dangers of social hacking.
When it comes to being cautious online, Janet says: ‘‘Keep information that hackers could use to get credit info safe. Date of birth, Mother’s maiden name, first pet, city you were born in, are all common phrases used by credit card companies. Don’t put it all out on social.
People don’t take social media seriously when it comes to security but they give up so much personal information to the networks that when they are hacked it can get nasty very quickly. So we try to work with them to tighten things up a bit.’’
Janet works with clients to help them stay safe on social and have seen and noticed some commonalities.
When it comes to passwords, for example, she says being extra vigilant is advisable: ‘’Don’t give your personal passwords out to developers, social media managers etc unless you need to. If you DO change the password for that one account before you give it out so they won’t be able to access all of your accounts! Once they are done working with your account, change the password.
If you have someone set up your social media accounts for you let them set the password and then change it when they are done. Better that than to tell them one of your “usual” passwords.
In fact, never use the same password on all your social media networks. You’re just making it too easy. Use acronyms if you need to, to remember the password for each network.’’
These all seem like obvious things to practice, yet many of us fail to do so. Janet points out: ‘’Use email for logins to websites, not Twitter or Facebook. It may seem easy and smart at the time, but if you get hacked they’ll have access to everything. Even more important the site you register for using your Facebook credentials can potentially collect information through the authorization phase that you may not want shared.”
So even though social media makes us feel as if we are operating in a safe and secure environment by sharing with friends and family, it is potentially making you very vulnerable to hackers – unless you take extra precautions. We have put together a few easy to do suggestions to get you started:
Social Networking Security Tips
Panda Security offers 4 very simple social networking security tips:
1. Don’t post everything about your life.
2. Use strong passwords, with upper case letters and numbers.
3. Configure your profile privacy settings.
4. Keep your antivirus and operating system up-to-date.