Social Media Security: Are You Sharing Too Much Information?

Cyber security is a big and growing issue, and social media is where many phishing and malware attacks happen. How secure is your information? Do you share all your Facebook posts with everyone? If you do, you might be opening yourself up to serious privacy risk, and the most common risk is getting hacked. When your account gets hacked, not only can the hacker make posts in your name, but they also get access to all of the information you have stored in your account.

Spend half an hour today following these simple steps to make your account more secure.

Change your passwords every 6-12 months

Changing passwords is annoying, I know. But it’s much less inconvenient than dealing with the fallout of being hacked.

An easy way to keep track of all your passwords is to use a password safe, like Lastpass. Lastpass is free, secure, and easy to use. It has a syncing feature that will auto-fill your passwords for you when you’re logged in to Lastpass. If you use this feature remember to log out when you’re not using your device. 

When you’re setting a password, make it a very strong one. Hackers often use sophisticated password cracking tools, but if your password defies logic it will be harder for them to figure it out. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Avoid using obvious combinations like your birthday, your hometown, or your last name. 

Control your social media security settings

Go into your social media account settings and look for the Privacy and Security settings. Go through each setting to ensure you’re sharing only the information you’re comfortable sharing. For example, I recommend changing your Facebook Post Audience default to Friends and Family. On the Everyone setting, literally everyone who has a Facebook account can see pictures that you post. 

I also recommend changing how people can Follow or Friend you, and who can view your profile (I recommend Friends or Friends of Friends).

Also, make sure you receive notifications when your account is logged into from an unrecognized device. Most of the time it will be you, but if it isn’t, the notification will be an early warning that someone has hacked your account. If this happens, immediately report the incident to the social media site and change your password.

Don’t post really personal content

While social media is a fun way to interact with your friends and family, it’s important to remember that it’s a public forum. Don’t share overly personal information, like your home address or the dates you’re going on vacation. People’s homes have been broken into after they posted they’d be away.

Be conscious of the content in your images and videos. For example, if you’re taking a photo of your child’s first day of school, avoid the school’s name or address in the background. Same for your own home. When you share the photo make sure you have the audience set to Friends Only

If you want to know what sort of information about you is available online, Google yourself. I posted a blog called the Annual Online Audit and Checklist a couple of months ago, all about controlling what personal information you share online. It’s a good thing to do at the same time as updating your social media privacy and security settings.

If you have shared social media accounts, limit who has access

Every organization – whether it’s a small business or a large corporation – should have a strict social media policy with limited access. There should also be a process for changing passwords and account access when someone leaves the organization. The last thing you want is a disgruntled employee posting something slanderous on your business account!

If you want help updating the settings for your personal or business social media accounts, give me a call to set up an appointment. I can help walk you through the steps to make sure you’re as secure as you can be!