5 Security Mistakes You’re Making On Social Media

5 Security Mistakes You're Making On Social Media

Leading digital life on various social media platforms can sometimes be a challenging task. And the challenges come not only from the efforts of maintaining presentable digital selves but also ensuring your cyber security well-being is properly attended to as well. Social media has become a major phenomenon of today’s world. They allow you in a matter of minutes to connect with various people, see things you wouldn’t be able to see in otherwise manner and share your own experiences and achievements.

But where the good things come sometimes the bad ones follow. We talk about the so-called digital risks you willingly take when embarking on another new social media life or maybe having spent a considerate time living digitally and somehow becoming worried over what actually you are exposing online from your real life and how such exposure influences you. And it does influence you not only in a way where social media platforms shape your digital personality but your cyber security online and physical.

Below you will find the five most common mistakes people tend to make on social media. These are the mistakes often neglected but those that once made can have unpleasant results for a person.

Accepting friend requests from unknown accounts

You may be the friendliest person in the world, but accepting everyone sending you friend requests on social media can be considered risky action. Not only you’re allowing a completely strange person to view your own personal information, but also you’re putting at risk other people you befriended on social media. That is especially true if you have a private account and someone needs to send you a friend request to see your info and you yourself give them that permission. In a case of public accounts anyone can see what you’re posting and sharing, but even this option some users go with brings other nuances to think about when securing your cyber safety.

But if you have a private account on social media that means you restrict the access to your account and accepting strange people’s requests undermines your plans to have a private and secure environment for yourself on social media. These random people who send you friend requests and seemingly want to just to get to know more people and make some friends can actually be different kinds of fraudsters like romance scammers, phishers, doxers, etc. You never know the true intentions of these people and even engaging with them in a conversation might lead to more dangerous consequences.

Not checking photos you’ve been tagged on

Have you actually checked what on those photos that you’ve been tagged on? If you’re not — you better do. You are the one who’s in charge of content you’re allowed to circulate on the internet related to your account and keeping an eye on what others share about it is also an important thing in your own cyber well-being. Obviously, no one wants some embarrassing photos of oneself from a friend’s birthday party that end up online for everyone to see them. And often it’s not your friends to blame for sharing content you’d rather wish to lay in archives but you yourself who has not checked settings that will allow you to have more control over content shared online related to your account.

Oversharing

This is a mistake that most people may have made the most. The problem in today’s digital landscape that makes life much easier for threat actors but not for ordinary users themselves. Sharing the current place of work, location where you live or your relatives info doesn’t positively contribute to securing one’s own safety. A well informed threat actor can hope for a more successful cyber attack with the kinds of information you sometimes provide themselves on one of your social media accounts.

The good practice will be to minimize the info you share on social media accounts that is not actually needed to be provided but some of the social media platforms still ask for it. Nevertheless, your coworkers and friends on Facebook most likely won’t need the info about school you attended, who is your third cousin or where you lived before. Normally, people on the same social media platform only need a way to somehow identify that this account belongs to you — the person they know or really want to befriend.

5 Security Mistakes You're Making On Social Media
An example of phishing attempt on one of the most popular social media platforms Linkedin

For this they only need to see your name and a photo showing that it is truly you. If you are quite good at managing your own digital footprint and its size, sharing just your name and a photo won’t put you at some enormous cyber security risk but instead you restrict a variety of freely circulated information on your persona for anyone on the internet to use for their own purposes.

Don’t also forget about not oversharing your life events on social media platforms you use when you post photos with geolocation, sharing stories in real time tagging places or people you are going to visit or visited, revealing in posts your travel plans, major life plans, etc. Too much is also posting photos that explicitly show your surrounding neighborhood, your workplace, places you regularly go to shop. Oversharing your life events may lead to serious life threatening cases like stalking, burglary, physical assaults, etc.

Neglecting some security essentials

Some of the important security essentials include enabling two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) features, restricting access to the information on your social media account, enabling some of the features that won’t allow completely strange people in any way to interact with your account. You only need several minutes to set these settings, but they will save you a significant amount of time when in the future you may have to deal with a cyber attack or data breach. On any major social media platforms you can find various tutorials on how to make sure you follow security essentials concerning your safety on it and know how to apply them.

Reusing passwords on multiple accounts

A number one rule in cyber security hygiene. One password — one account. In case of a compromise of one account you won’t endanger the other accounts that may have the same password. Of course, it can be hard when trying to manage all the passwords users now can have which can amount sometimes up to fifty or hundred passwords. But you can always choose a reliable password manager that will help you to secure your accounts’ access and keep passwords in one place.

By Stephanie Adlam

I write about how to make your Internet browsing comfortable and safe. The modern digital world is worth being a part of, and I want to show you how to do it properly.

View all of Stephanie Adlam's posts.

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