Social media has become an extremely popular platform in recent years. There are millions of personal and professional social media accounts to be found across multiple different platforms.
Social media is great for keeping up with friends and family, as well as keeping up with the latest news from your favorite companies that you choose to follow. It’s also helpful in keeping up with the latest news updates.
However, social media is not always safe. Cybercriminals can commit several crimes using your social media profiles. It is important to understand these cybercrimes and take the steps to keep yourself safe from cyberattacks.
Why Your Social Media Accounts Must be Secure
The majority of social media platforms will give you the choice whether you want to keep your account private or not. Having a private accounts means that people can only see your personal information and what you post if you allow them to.
However, having an account that is not set to private means that anyone on the internet can see what you post. They can also access your personal information, which can be extremely dangerous.
Cybercriminals are able to use your personal information to commit several different crimes. If your information is easily accessible online, you could be at risk of a cyberattack. It’s important to limit the amount of information you post online.
For example, a cybercriminal can use your personal information to commit identity theft or fraud. They could open a utility account in your name. When the account is never paid, you will be the one who gets into trouble because your name will be associated with the account.
A hacker could also scan your social media accounts for clues on how to guess your passwords. Many people do not use strong passwords, instead, they use a word or phrase that relates to them personally because it’s easier to remember.
Cybercriminals know that this is the case with most people, and they can often find information on your social media accounts that will allow them to guess your account passwords.
Once a cybercriminal has gained access to your social media account they can also begin to go about scamming people on your friend’s list. This can of course, also get you into trouble if someone were to report you.
How Cybercriminals Can Breach Your Accounts
Cybercriminals have many different tactics they can use to break into your accounts. These strategies vary depending on their end goal. Their tactics are also constantly developing, so it is important to keep up with the latest trends in cybercrime.
One of the most commonly used strategies is phishing. Phishing has been around for many years, but it has evolved immensely over time. Cybercriminals have progressed far from the Nigerian Prince scam that we’re all used to seeing.
Modern-day phishing scams use social engineering to trick their victims into believing that they are interacting with a trustworthy person or company that they know. They often use emails, websites or fake popup ads to create effective phishing scams.
This has become easier to do in our modern society. For example, you might receive an email from Facebook notifying you that you need to log in and update your privacy settings. Everything may seem legitimate, with the Facebook logo, color scheme and content.
However, once you click on the link you will be taken to a fake website that is designed to replicate the real Facebook website. The login page will have a keylogger installed which will copy everything you type and give it directly to the cybercriminals.
The hackers will then have all of your login credentials which will allow them to lock you out of your account and use them to commit crimes. However, there are more ways that hackers can break into your social media accounts.
Installing malicious software on your device will allow them to gain access to your passwords and account details. There are various forms of malware to look out for, namely viruses, ransomware and spyware.
All of these are dangerous, however, in terms of gaining access to your social media accounts, spyware is the most dangerous. Spyware can allow the hacker to see your screen remotely. In some cases, they can even control your devices remotely.
This allows the cybercriminals to see your login credentials and any of the personal information that is stored on your device. In most cases, you will never know about spyware being on your device either.
Most malicious software is downloaded in the background of your device. This means that you may never even know about it being there until it’s too late. This is what makes malware so dangerous to our devices.
Keeping Your Accounts Secure
You must ensure that your social media accounts are always secure. Keeping your social media account secure is important not only for your safety but also for the safety of your friends and family.
The first thing you should do is set your accounts to private. This will prevent any cybercriminals from gaining knowledge of you or stealing your personal information that they can use against you.
You must always use strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts. This is something that many people fail to do and it is a huge risk to all of your social media accounts.
Studies have shown that strong passwords are made up of random words or phrases that do not relate to you in any way. This means you cant use your name or date of birth. Even the names of pets, family members, or friends cant be used as passwords.
Having unique passwords means that you create different passwords for each of your accounts. This will make it much more difficult for cybercriminals to break into all of your accounts at once.
Of course, this makes it difficult to remember all your different passwords. Luckily some great password managers will help you with this problem. You should avoid using the password managers on your browser, as these can easily be compromised, giving away all your account details.