Tips for Secure Social Networking
If you are active on social media, and using it to promote your art, you know how much work it takes to gain an audience. It would be terrible if your account was hacked and all that hard work was lost. At the very least, your fans would be subject to some spam and even unfollow you. So, we have some helpful tips for securing your social media profiles.
One of the first, and most important tips, is to create and use strong passwords. The goal is to not only make it hard for anyone to guess your password, but hard for hackers using brute force attacks as well, which often use programs that will randomly enter passwords over and over until they gain access. Create a difficult password and the likelihood of being hacked goes down.
We tend to create memorable passwords so we can log into our services easily, and pull them from memory with little effort. However, there’s still a way to do this with stronger passwords. One idea is to use numbers in place of vowels. So A=@, E=3, I=!, O=0, etc. It’s also a good idea when creating passwords to use a mix of letters, capitals, numbers, and special characters (#$&*). Ideally, start using pass-phrases instead of passwords. These are easy to remember and are relatable to you. For example, “I think paint looks like cake frosting”. Use the tips above, add some space for more complexity, and the new passphrase is: “I Th!nk Pa!nt Looks L!ke CakeFrosting!”.
If you simply want to create strong passwords randomly and easily, you can use a random password generator. One of our favorites is by Lastpass. This generator has some settings to help configure your password, and you can also sign up for a free account with Lastpass, which is a good password manager that is also available on mobile phones.
This two-step verification method will add another layer of security. Using this on your social media accounts, such as Instagram, will send you a text message with a code after you first log in with your password. You then enter the code you were sent, and now you have full access to your account. This is great as it requires you to not only know the password, but to have that physical addition, your phone, to finish accessing the account.
You can enable two-factor authentication for Instagram by going into the settings. For Twitter, check out this link, and for Facebook, go to your settings and then the security tab.
Along with adjusting the privacy settings in each social media platform you use, being aware is an important way to keep secure on social media. When you connect new third-party apps to your social media accounts, do a little research on them, check out their available settings, and disconnect any apps/services you are no longer using. Pay attention to any email you receive from these social media platforms, as they may be attempts at phishing. Look at the email address they came from, and if need be, do a quick search on Google about the email. You may find it was a fake email.
Change your password frequently, and do not use the same password for every platform you have. Be aware of how old your password/passphrases may be, and if you have allowed others to log into your account for some reason, change the password after they are done.
Know of any other tips? Share them in the comment below.