Securing your social media accounts this summer

With in excess of hundreds of millions of credentials having been leaked in the previous year, and similarly with 2017, many social media accounts that are related to past data breaches are still in heavy jeopardy of unwanted access by third party individuals.

The advice has been heard before, and rings true still today: change your password, and change it often. Internet users have been privy to the same pieces of advice on increasing the security of their online accounts for decades now -- however, as technology grows and new resources become available (both for or and against computer security), these age-old suggestions are still worth repeating and furthermore, new suggestions on how to secure your online accounts and social media do happen to circulate the Internet from time to time.

One level of security that isn't often the first thought when it comes to thinking about security of social media accounts is the privacy of one's credentials, information that is shared, and other data. Breaking into someone's account and defacing or deleting it isn't the only vulnerability that comes with using social media -- in today's dangerous online world, users can be stalked, have massive amounts of personal information collected and shared (referred to as doxxing), and even have their complete identity stolen. Tips for mitigating any kind of damages that come with this territory include maintaining the privacy of one's posts and the information (including images) that are shared online. Some find positive benefits from having thousands and tens of thousands of connections on social media platforms; it goes without saying, the more friends the more changes of being caught up in a use of vulnerability against oneself. Data that is shared on social media platforms tends to be stored and available for long amounts of times -- things that one said even years ago are publicly available and unbiased to prying eyes.

Other suggestions for improving the security of social media accounts are the valuable changing of one's password (and suggestive a strong, unique password), enabling two-factor authentication to create an additional level of security, logging usage when possible, and preventing physical access to one's account whether it means logging out of one's accounts on all devices or securing all devices in a secure location. In an ideal world, the most secure information would be offline available only, in a hard physical format, and even then it would be vulnerable in the obvious ways. However, with learning about and enabling the privacy tools that are becoming increasingly available for social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter, and managing one's information so that there is as small a window for unauthorized users or intruders to gain access or negatively use one's information, Internet users can find a level of security that is both comfortable and secure against most potential threats.

Computer security may not be advanced, but it doesn't have to be basic.