How to Protect Yourself From Social Media Hackers

Social media hackers are highly skilled and they don't discriminate when it comes to choosing their victims.

In 2016, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg was hacked, proving that anyone and everyone can be a target.

For social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, you can keep your personal accounts separate from your branded ones. But, for the king platform (Facebook), branded accounts are directly tied to personal ones.

What a mess, right?

We want to try and help you avoid the chaos. Our goal is to help you keep your focus on your business rather than the security of your social media profiles.

Let's explore some facts, tips, and best practices to keep your accounts safe from social media hackers.

Fact: Social media is a necessity

Some people might try to dodge using social media for business altogether to avoid social media hackers. However, they'd be making a huge mistake.

Why?

For one, the reach of social media channels like Facebook and Instagram stretches into the billions. A chunk of the world's population is active on one or more social media platforms.

Second, there are more than 40 million business pages on Facebook. So, avoiding the social marketplace means a competitor is diving in and taking names.

Lastly, customers want to engage with the businesses they love. If they can't, there's a good chance another business will get their attention and will engage with them on social media.

The fact of the matter is, social media is no longer an option for small business marketing. It's a necessity.

Habits of social media hackers

There are a number of ways that social media hackers gain access to people's profiles. Knowing and understanding how they operate could help you avoid their pesky tactics.

Here are six ways social media hackers can break into your accounts:

1) Side jacking

Hackers who use this method are usually sharing a wifi connection with the victim, and ends up taking over their HTTP session to acquire information. Think public places where you'd see people working, like a local coffee shop or library.

2) Stealing

Yes, technically, all hackers are stealing. But the term "stealing" has its own meaning when it comes to social media hackers.

Stealing is when a hacker easily gains access to accounts because the user has saved passwords in their browser. Saving passwords can be convenient for the user, but can also be convenient for a hacker.

3) Key logging

Truth be told, this is the easiest way for a Facebook account to be hacked. The hacker simply installs a software on the victim's device, and all of their information is then sent to the hacker.

4) Phishing

Hackers pretend to be the person they're hacking by creating a fake profile with actual pictures of the victim. This isn't always effective, but it can and does happen.

5) USB hacking

If the hacker can get to your device and plug in a USB, they can have it set up to where all of your information is scraped from your computer and onto their USB drive in moments.

6) Spoofing DNS

If a hacker and the victim are using the same network, the hacker can swap the real Facebook page with their own and thus gain access to the victim's information.

How to protect your accounts

With all of the above tactics in mind, let's tackle the defense measures you can take to limit your risk of being a victim of social media hackers.

Here are five ways to up your defense on social media security:

1) The ins and outs of password protection

Passwords are obviously designed to protect our information on social media websites and beyond. With the billions of people using them now, that's not always possible.

Increase your password efficiency with these simple tricks:

Create a strong password that is different from other accounts.

Passwords should be at least 12 characters in length. The shorter they are, the easier it is for hackers to break in.

Change your passwords three or four times a year, and always change them immediately if you feel like your account has been compromised.

Avoid the "remember password" option on sites when you can.

Clear your browser history where passwords might be saved.

2) Firewalls are forces to be reckoned with

A firewall can be installed to protect your device from outside users on the Internet. Firewalls are installed on a per-device basis, so make sure that every single one you use and want protection on, has one.

3) Always opt for two-step authentication

Rather than the typical notification of an account change, always go for the two-step option. You'll be asked to enter a code that is sent via email or text, in addition to the normal one-step question.

4) Consider using a password manager

Try using a [trusted] password manager program like LastPass. It will store all of your passwords safely and enter them internally (instead of manually). This will immensely limit the risk of password hacking.

5) Day-to-day tips that can decrease hacking risk

There are some common sense ways to reduce the risk of being compromised by social media hackers. They are:

On Facebook, be leery of friend requests. If you don't recognize the person, or if they're already your "friend," it could be a hacker trying to gain access to your personal page.

Activate login alerts so that when the platform sees a foreign device trying to login to your account, they'll notify you, adding an extra layer of protection.

Since some hackers can install software or a USB quickly to steal information, make sure you never leave your device unattended in a public space. It only takes a few moments for them to do the dirty work, and chances are, you'll never know.

Go into your browser(s)/apps every few days and see what's been saved. Edit what is saved by removing the things that don't belong. Remember to click "save" when you're finished.

Install free software to boost safety. For Chrome, KB SSL Enforcer will do the trick. For Firefox, try Force TLS. These programs will host you on secure networks while you're using public wifi.

Questions? Ask away

We're here to help you protect your business and most importantly, to thrive.

Business owners come to us when they want to successfully integrate all of their digital marketing efforts into one, cohesive effort.

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Contact us today, we'd love to hear from you.