Software

How to social network with an eye on security

social network

Social networking is now embedded into the fiber of both consumers and businesses alike. We don’t just depend on it to connect, but to market, research, and build a community. With Facebook now at over 2.5 billion monthly users and Twitter having approximately 330 million active monthly users, it’s a no-brainer that these two social networking platforms are going to be widely used.

Thing is, that’s a lot of targets for would-be data thieves, scammers, and other malicious actors. To compound the issue of security, most average social networking users don’t really think about it. This lackadaisical attitude toward security isn’t just relegated to end users. Even businesses can get caught up in the simplicity of easing up on the pedal of concern.

So unless you’re a software development company like BairesDev  https://www.bairesdev.com/software-development-services/, who fully understands what’s at stake, and takes every added precaution to lock their social networking accounts down and use them wisely, you need to know how to use these services wisely.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use social networking platforms more securely.

Use Two Factor Authentication

There should be zero hesitation with this. You must be using Two Factor Authentication (2FA) with social networking services.

What is 2FA? Simply put, 2FA requires that you use a six-digit code, on top of your username and password credentials, to log into your account. With 2FA enabled, you can’t gain access to your account without that six digit code.

Where do you get that six-digit code? You install an app like Authy on your smartphone and associate it with your account. That way, anyone trying to log into your account will need your smartphone to get in. 

Yes, this does add an extra step you must take to log into your account. That extra step, however, can prevent unwanted users from logging into your social networking accounts. This is one inconvenience you should consider a welcome addition to your already busy daily grind.

Log out of your accounts

Most people leave their browsers logged into their social media accounts. Why? Convenience. With regard to security, convenience is mostly an enemy. Because of this, you should be logging out of your social networking accounts every time you finish using them.

Even on your smartphone.

I know, I know, that’s not the ideal situation, because the smartphone is all about convenience, right? But then again, convenience can be seen as a vulnerability. When you’re done using that social networking service, log out of it. That way when unwanted users attempt to gain access to your accounts from your device or browser, they’ll have to know your login credentials to do so.

Stop answering surveys

Do you know those surveys that go around on Facebook? You know the ones, those asking you about your favorite movie, color, drink, or favorite pet name. Those things are a scammer’s and hacker’s playground. 

Why? Because you are answering questions that could very well lead to someone being able to guess your passwords. Most often users employ overly simple passwords or passwords that are borrowed from favorite pet’s names, favorite colors, birthdays, and other similar bits of information. When you answer those questions, you are effectively giving away that information.

As entertaining as those posts might seem, pass on them, every time. 

At the same time, when posts go around like those of everyone sharing their senior pictures—including high school and graduation date—don’t. Or, if you are so inclined to share the photo, don’t include any dates or locales. 

Anytime you start to post something that might include a significant date, think twice.

Block location tracking

Some social networking services track your location. You check into restaurants and other locations, leaving a veritable breadcrumb trail of your whereabouts. Now, think about this: What if you have a stalker or someone who wants to track you down to do less-than-kind things to you?

By leaving location tracking enabled on social networking services, you’re giving that person everything they need to locate you.

Be safe and turn that feature off. 

Don’t hesitate to report people

Social networking is incredible for so many things. Unfortunately, not everything is positive. For example, these services breed contempt and foster ill will, which can turn into cyberbullying or worse. Most social networking services offer the tools that allow you to report users for such behavior. Do not hesitate to use those tools. 

Why?

Easy. The sooner you can curtail such behavior, the sooner it’ll be prevented from escalating. And this type of behavior can escalate quickly, so don’t hesitate to report bad behavior. 

One thing to keep in mind, however, is to only use the tools to anonymously report users. Don’t call them out on the platforms for their behavior, as that makes it very clear who it is that’s pointing the finger of blame. Instead, go through the proper channels. Those tools are your safest bet. 

You might also want to consider grabbing screenshots of the bullying or otherwise threatening posts. On the off chance, the behavior escalates, you’ll want to have proof of what happened, in case the authorities get involved. That proof could go a long way to proving your innocence.

Conclusion

In the end, the security of your social network experience depends on the amount of time and energy you’re willing to put into ensuring you don’t use these services unwisely. If you’re still not sure how best to go about using these platforms, you can always turn to third-party apps, built by any given software development company, to help you along.

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