Last April, Facebook was in the news again for a massive data breach of the accounts of more than 500 million users. Due to this leak, data such as email, postal address, biography or phone number of these users were exposed and available to any hacker willing to bid for them. This once again exposed Facebook’s security systems and set off alarm bells among the main cybersecurity companies, which once again insisted on the need to improve security measures on these platforms and to do everything possible to protect our accounts as users.
Due to the increasing risk of such hacks, we have prepared for you a selection of essential cybersecurity measures to keep your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and any other social network accounts as protected as possible.
1. Use a password manager
A password manager is one of the best tools you can have to protect all kinds of online accounts, including your social media accounts, your email, e-commerce platforms, or any other account you use online. With a password manager you’ll be sure to use a strong and unique password for each account, so you won’t have to write down your passwords anywhere and you won’t be tempted to reuse your passwords, something that, as we’ll see below, can be really detrimental to the protection of your accounts.
2. Don’t reuse passwords
When you use the same password for all your accounts, you put them at risk regardless of how strong that password is. Although strong passwords are virtually impossible to hack, they can always be leaked in the event that hackers breach the database of one of the platforms you use, allowing attackers to use that password to access the rest of your online accounts. If you use a different password for each account, however, each leak will only affect that particular account, and not the rest of the accounts you maintain online.
3. Use two-step verification
Two-step verification is becoming mandatory on a variety of online platforms, and is already available on many social networks. This method of verification means that a simple password will no longer be enough to access your accounts, so you will also need to verify your access from a second device, usually your mobile phone. This way, even if your passwords are leaked online, hackers won’t be able to access your accounts, because they won’t have access to your mobile phone to do this second verification.
4. Pay attention to the signs of phishing
Phishing is one of the most common techniques used by hackers to get your passwords. It is a strategy that uses social engineering to make you believe that you are visiting a legitimate website or that you have received an email from one of your platforms, when in fact it is a forgery. It is therefore essential that you pay attention to the grammar of these emails, the SSL certificate of the websites you visit, and always be wary when you are asked for passwords or access credentials with a tone of urgency. If you provide your login details to a hacker, they will try to use them as soon as possible to break into your accounts.
5. Reduce your presence on social networks
After recent statements by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, it has once again become clear that platforms like Facebook or Instagram are designed in a way that exalts political radicalization, hate speech and confrontation -in the case of Facebook-, or that promotes a feed of sculpted bodies and wealthy lifestyles that causes severe damage to teenage women, in the case of Instagram. If we add to all this the large amount of private data that these types of platforms collect about their users, maybe it’s a good time to reduce your presence on them.
Remember that you are the best barrier against hacks
Few online platforms can boast a completely hack-free history, but you can prevent hacks from causing severe damage to your privacy by limiting the data you share on social networks and using strong, unique passwords to prevent a single leak from affecting all of your accounts. The use of tools such as password managers is key in this regard, and, if you add to this a proper attitude to detect any possible phishing attack, your accounts will be much safer.