While social media is a fantastic way to meet, connect, engage, and more, it can also be a way for people to try and steal sensitive information from you or your loved one. For that reason, social media safety is encouraged for all users.
With social media account hacks and takeovers increasing every year, it’s important that you and your loved ones remain safe on whichever platform(s) you are using. Senior Solutions Management Group is promoting social media safety by sharing a few tips and tricks to help users be prepared and stay safe online.
Use a Strong Password
One simple step that is often overlooked or taken for granted is the power of a strong password. For social media, it is recommended users create a medium to long password. The shorter the password, the easier it is to hack. If multiple social media accounts are being used, use different passwords for each account. This way, if one account is compromised, all accounts won’t be vulnerable.
It is also recommended to change these passwords regularly as an added safety benefit.
Utilize Added Security Features
Added security features are a vital component of social media safety because they are an added layer of protection. These features can include being notified by text message or email should a suspicious login occur, or setting up two-factor authentication.
If you or your loved one utilizes these features, it’s important to remember which mobile phone or email address you are setting them up to. Otherwise, the user may become locked out of their own account.
Customize Privacy Settings
Privacy settings allow you or your loved one to control who sees your posts, who can comment/share your posts, who can message you, and who can send you a friend request.
Without utilizing these settings, a user’s photos, posts, and information may be open to anyone frequenting the website. A lack of these settings can also allow scammers to get personal data (names, photos, etc.) that they can use to pretend they know you or a loved one to attempt to gain access to more sensitive information.
Check Links Before Clicking
A popular method of hacking comes from phishing emails or probes that inform a user that their social media account has been hacked and that they need to change the password. In some cases, this email may be valid, which is why it is always recommended that you or your loved one check and verify a link before clicking and providing personal information. Reputable sites and organizations will never ask for sensitive information like your social security number, credit card information, or banking information via email.
On social media, this scam commonly occurs through private or direct messages that contain a promise of information or enticing headlines, such as “You’ve won a free gift card!” or any monetary gain. Be cautious of any links you or your loved one are sent, even if it is from a friend or family member, as their account could be compromised. Should you receive a message from a friend or family member that you find suspicious, contact the person on a separate platform (phone, email, etc.) to confirm they sent it and verify its authenticity.
Be Careful of What is Shared
Oversharing personal information is another way a social media account can be hacked. Never share personal information, such as your address, financial information, or phone number on these platforms. The more information that is posted about a user, the easier it can be to steal one’s identity or compromise the account.
Don’t Trust Strangers
If you or your loved one receives a message or a friend request from someone unknown, ignore it or block the account.
Some scammers will make fake accounts using images stolen from a person you may know and try to pass off as him or her. For this reason, be wary of adding the same person more than once. If you have them added or know you are already connected on social media, yet receive a new request from him or her, reach out off of social media to ask if it is a new account they set up.
Awareness & Prevention
The best way to prevent you or a loved one from falling victim to a social media scam is to be aware of the dangers and take the necessary precautions. Social media safety can allow you or your loved one to reap only the benefits of these networking sites.If you found this blog article helpful and are seeking more information regarding senior safety, we invite you to visit our Senior Solutions Management Group blog for more tips!