Social media has become one of the primary sources of personal connection in more recent years. Everyone is on there, it’s a “free” source of advertising for small (and large) businesses, it’s how we find and connect with family all over the world, it’s where we share thoughts, photos, and opinions. It’s a wonder we don’t spend more time to secure our social media. Accounts have become vulnerable and easy to access for scammers. You can get access back, but the hoops you have to jump through almost make it not worth it. You would think it’s easier to just do without social media, we may agree with you, except we use it for so much! So what should you do now to make sure you have a secure social media account?
Password Security for Social Media
Before you do anything else, make sure you have a safe password on the account. When you set up ANY account, social media or not, should be secured with a safe, unique password. We understand that passwords are such a pain and hard to remember, but they are necessary. We also understand that everything needs a password and all services have different requirements to make up a password. You need to make your account secure, it’s hard to know where to start with creating passwords. We’ve got you covered!
Tips for making a Secure Password:
- Try to avoid using anything that’s personally identifiable like name, number, birthday, or address. Of course we prefer you use randomized passwords that are chosen by a password manager or such.
- Make sure every password is at least 6 characters (though most want 8) and have a complex combination of numbers, letters, and punctuation.
- You should always avoid using single words.
- If you want to be as secure as possible, change the password every 6 months.
A safe password is the first defense to keeping secure accounts.
Secure Your Social Media with Two-Factor Authentication
You should ALWAYS have two-factor authentication turned on. Yes, we know, this is a HUGE pain when all you want to do is put in a password and log in. Two-factor is one of the only sure fire ways to secure your account that never fails.
Two factor authentication comes in multiple ways.
- Use your phone number that will get a one-time code.
- Get an authentication app. You can use apps like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or Authy for this.
- Use a security key. This is in the app itself and requires you to be logged in already on another device. When signing in on a new device you would open the app or website on another device that is already signed in to your account and get a security key to put in to verify your identity on the new device.
These two-factor authentication methods make it nearly impossible for anyone other than you to gain access to your account. We’ve mentioned the two main ways to secure your account and avoid someone else taking it over. That isn’t the only security you need to look at though. Your information is out there on the internet. Everything you put in social media can be viewed. It’s important to protect your information, not just your account.
Make Use of Privacy Features
Everyone has access to your information by default in your accounts. You should protect your information from people you do not know. Change your privacy settings on Facebook so only people you are friends with can see your information, this separates your public life from your personal life. Remove your personal profile from search engine results in the privacy section. Not sure where to start?
Update your Privacy Settings. Facebook has a privacy checkup that can be run on your account. Open your Facebook app, select your little circle at the bottom right, scroll down to the bottom where you see Settings & Privacy, then select privacy shortcuts; you can run the Privacy Checkup right from there. It tells you when you last updated the settings, and what you may want to update them too in order to keep your account secure.
Instagram has it’s own privacy features as well. Manage privacy by opening up the Instagram app, choose your little circle in the bottom right, select the menu at the top right, then go to settings. Here you can change your privacy as well as how people interact with your account. These will help keep your content on your account safe from others within the platform.
Review Third Party Apps
We use our social media accounts in other apps too. If you think about how you use your apps you download on your phone, you may remember it asking you to create an account, or sign in to your social media as the account instead. Instacart, gaming apps, recipe apps, and many others allow you to use your social media accounts to log in. This isn’t bad, just be sure that the apps you are logging in to are protected. Like we mentioned above, protect every account that allows you to with two-factor and update your privacy settings.
There are other ways to protect your data, but it’s impossible for us to list every single way. Your best option is to go to the source. If you want to find out more about Facebook Security read about that here! If you’d like to find out more about Instagram security read about that here! Keep your children’s account safe with the parents guides for each platform too. Be as informed as possible to keep your accounts as secure as possible. If you are in need of help, or want our advice, you can always reach us by phone, email, or just click here! We are always here to help, but it’s important to remember, when it comes to Facebook and Instagram accounts, Meta controls that information.