We’ve all heard of incidents of a celebrity’s social media account getting hacked and their private photos are leaked. This seems to be a regular occurrence these days. I’ve news for you, it’s not just celebrities falling victim to these hacks of social media – we are all at risk.
With celebrities, it can give them unwanted publicity, and everyone forgets about it in a couple of weeks. With ordinary people, however, it can ruin your life if it happens to you. Your reputation, career, and dignity can be put into jeopardy and all because someone hacked into your account.
People hack other’s social media accounts like Facebook and Snapchat for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes just to spy on someone but sometimes to cause them harm and even extortion!
Unfortunately, hackers have a number of different methods to gain access to your social accounts. These range from sophisticated phishing hacks to using commercial spy apps. The most efficient way they have is to hack your cellphone.
Think about that for a moment. Most of us use our cellphones to access our social media apps and most of our cellphones are relatively unprotected! A simple spy app can open up everything on your phone to a hacker and you probably won’t notice until it’s too late.
Fortunately, there are signs to look out for – to find out if your phone has been hacked without your knowledge. This can be very useful in protecting yourself from hackers. With that said, here are a few ways to make sure that you don’t get hacked in the first place.
Watch What’s On Your Account
Some people get mad when you tell them that they shouldn’t have those photos on there in the first place and they have a point. Blaming the victim is just rude. However, just like keeping your belongings in a safe place instead of out in the open, there are ways to prevent that.
One way is to clear your phone of any incriminating pictures or files. You have to remember that just because they say your phone, cloud storage or social media account is safe, it doesn’t mean that it will be. For instance, Snapchat destroys your photo after a few seconds, but it’s easy to retrieve if the receiver is quick enough to use screen capture.
If you’re going to have files on your phone, be sure to encrypt them. However, the best way is to put all your files on a storage device and store it safely. Whether it’s a disc, flash drive, or computer without Internet access, you’re guaranteed safety with your files if you keep them locked down.
Use a Strong Password
With many of these photo leaks, people thought that it was because the cloud storage was weak and easy to hack. However, many of the hackers got in because the usernames, passwords, and security questions were easy to guess.
So if you’re going to keep your stuff on accounts that can be hacked, your best way of protection is to keep your passwords as secure as possible. There are many apps that can help you to get a great password, one of them being LastPass.
Make sure that your password has plenty of capital letters and numbers. Center your password around something that only you could know. Do not use your name. These things should be common sense, but sadly they aren’t. Also, never give your password out to anyone.
Think about it this way. Would you tell most people your credit card number? Of course not. So why a password?
Use Two-Factor Authentication
What is two-factor authentication? It creates another layer of security to any account that has the support for it. Not only do you need your password for this but you also need to have a code from your phone, something you should have on you at all times. It’s a bit annoying, but it gives you even more security. So if someone guesses your password, they still won’t know the code.
There are a few apps that allow you to generate codes, one of them being Authy. One website called TwoFactorAuth.org tells you the sites that have that compatibility. Also, check with your bank or retail sites to see if they offer it.
Monitor All Your Accounts Closely
Any social media account can change their settings on a whim. Facebook does this often, so check your privacy settings every now and then. Look at your apps too and see if there aren’t any dubious apps you’ve installed. If you don’t use any, or you see any that are unfamiliar, get rid of them. It’s not worth the risk.
Make sure you aren’t sharing anything too private on Facebook either. Check to see if only the people on your friend’s list can see it and make sure not to add people you wouldn’t trust. If you want to, Facebook has the ability to view your profile as other people. Click the three dots menu close to View Activity Log, then click “View As” to see what your profile looks to other people.
Also, you can Google yourself too. If you see too many personal details about yourself, look at the site it’s on and finds a way to eliminate the problem. The first few results are especially important.
Also, monitor all outgoing messages on every site and email you have. Sometimes, hackers send out messages without you knowing. For instance, you’ve probably seen someone on Facebook have their profile hacked and they spam other people’s posts and feeds. They don’t know until someone told them. Make sure your account doesn’t post anything without your consent, and you should be good.
These are just a few tips that you can use to prevent anyone from stealing your personal information. Unfortunately today more and more people are victims of hacking in some shape or form. Cybercrime statistics are pretty scary when you see them broken down and realize how many victims are out there.
Your enemies, so-called “friends” and people looking to scam can all target you at the blink of an eye. Store your information securely in a place that can’t be hacked, or just use some heavy-duty encryption to decrease your chances of someone hacking into you. And make sure your passwords are strong.
Remember, it takes one person with hacking capabilities to ruin your life. All you need to do is to make sure you’re secured to avoid this happening. Be aware of your online security.