Social media accounts are powerful tools in the wrong hands. Weve recently seen hackers take over the Twitter accounts of media outlets and large corporations, using them for anything from basic spam...
An Indian user spends 2.4 hours every day on social networking sites.1 As of 2021, there are over 400 million social media users in India.2 Such a significant number of users comes with the growth of cybercriminals as well. Hackers can hijack Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts, using them for anything from basic spam to drawing attention to global issues. For instance, compared to 2016, cybercrime cases (155) related to social media more than doubled across India in 2017 (328).3
Your own accounts might seem too small to tempt scammers, but your information is a valuable commodity even with just a few followers. Following are some of the Social Media Security Tips you can consider to help protect your accounts.
Use unique passwords for each social network
It’s a pain, but it is also absolutely essential that you don’t use the same password for Twitter as you do for, say, Facebook, Instagram, and other social tools. Using a single password makes it easy for hackers to intercept into your account, as gaining access to one means gaining access to all – and imagine how painful it will be when you find you’re locked out of your entire online life. When you use one password for multiple services, you’re only as safe as the least secure service you use.
Watch your mailbox
How can these social account hacks occur? By direct messages to you. Yes, using the same approach phishers have used for years. It tends to be a rogue link in a message or email, perhaps sent to look like it’s a “Happy Holi” wish from a colleague or friend that exposes all the important passwords. Phishers will find out who you would expect to receive an email from and use that as a way in. This social engineering approach has worked on staff at major newspapers and government organizations, so don’t fool yourself into thinking hacking social network accounts must require more sophisticated techniques.
Don’t be too personal
Social engineering is where attackers use whatever information they can glean from your public profiles – date of birth, education, interests – to try to get into your accounts on all sorts of services. Just imagine how easily someone can find out the name of your first pet or school from your Facebook profile, then think about how many services you use them as security questions. Keep all your profile information as private as you can, and think twice before posting absolutely every aspect of your life.
Lock your phone
It’s not only faceless scammers on the internet. Your phone can end up in the wrong hands, potentially giving access to your social accounts (and more) since phone theft is reported by every one in two Indian mobile users.4 It’s not just rogue updates: once they’re in they can obtain your email address, target your friends using your profile as bait, and even change your password. To make it as difficult as possible for an intruder, you should always enable the passcode lock on your phone, and set it to time out at no more than a few minutes.
Use the block button
When a spammer follows you and sends you links, don’t just ignore it. For the sake of others who are less well informed than you, always report the account as spam. The social networking security will monitor it and remove the account if enough people take the same action. It won’t stop spammers coming back with new accounts, but it at least hinders their efforts.
Norton Safe Web for Facebook
Using this site to help scan your newsfeed for like-jacking scams or malicious links: Norton Safe Web monitors your news feed for unsafe links and warns you of potential threats, so you don’t share them with your friends. You can link your profile to this webpage to help you be aware of potential cybercrimes.5
Norton empowers people and families around the world to feel safer in their digital lives
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.