Social Networking Privacy: Can you be Secure and Anonymous?
Long gone are times when there used to be a very few social networking sites which people managed and enjoyed with ease. Today, there is an abundance of useful social networking websites that we all use on a day to day basis. The abundance of social sites also makes us vulnerable to various online threats. If the truth be told, we are only one-wrong-move-away from being hacked, cyber-bullied, virus-attacked and more. So is it possible to stay secure and anonymous online? Yes it is. Here is how:
- Keep personal info personal
A lot of us find it fun posting about our day to day activities, but let's accept it, the world doesn't want to know about everything. We must post things that really hold value to us or to others and avoid sharing every little detail of every single minute no matter how much amazing stuff we do. Hackers are looking for little pieces of info about you such as your likes, dislikes, favorite personalities, places etc. as it allows them to guess your account passwords, credit cards' CVV codes etc. So, beware!
- Know Who's a Friend and Who's a Foe
You might be a very friendly person who accepts and welcomes new people in their circle with open arms. This approach, however, might backfire big time on social media. While you can become friends with some amazing people on the social media channels, you might also unknowingly accept friend requests from people who don't have good intensions towards you. In order to avoid a dozen of potential problems such as cyber bullying, data theft, illegal use of your personal information etc. you should know who's a friend and who's a foe. There shouldn't be any place for foes in your social circle.
- Be Aware of What You Can Do
Every social networking site has terms and conditions that every user must be aware of in order to know about not only what is legal and illegal but also their rights. No social networking site promotes or ignores a user's misbehavior with another user. Harassment/bullying, illegal use of someone else's data, spamming and many other actions and practices are not allowed on social networks, so you should quickly report such actions if they are effecting you, or bothering others as well.
- Keep A Clean Machine
Computers and devices infected with various viruses (Trojans, malware, adware etc.) are extremely vulnerable against online surveillance, data theft and even the hacking of the entire machine. Keeping a clean machine is not a very difficult task. All you need to do is to buy a few tools including anti-virus/spyware, USB protection software and adware blocker. These tools will help you avoid being monitored or hacked through key-loggers, spyware and so on. Keeping your machine clean would at least not do any harm if not assuring you one hundred percent online privacy or security
- Weak Passwords= A Vulnerable You
This one is a no-brainer. You upload and save a lot of photos, videos and other data on your social profiles, some of which you keep on public privacy while rest on 'private' settings. The dreadful thought of losing your 'personal' data never crosses your mind until you actually lose it to a hacker or a supposedly friend. You can protect yourself from an unwanted and annoying situation of getting hacked by choosing a strong password. Your password must be long, should contain both capital and small letters and numbers. You should also assure that the password is not comprised of your personal information such as your date of birth, favorite celebrity or so on.
- Use that 'Block' Button
We all receive friendship requests on our social accounts all the time. Some of the requests are from unknown people but we still accept them. If you already have allowed strangers to get connected to you, there is still time and you should go ahead and unfriend/remove them. Remember, a lot of hackers or cyber criminals use the adding feature as the first move towards their goal of hacking you, stealing your information or harassing you online. Act before it's too late.
- Privacy And Security Settings are Life Savior
Last but certainly not the least; use those privacy and security settings in your social accounts. Every social media account has privacy settings that are there to protect private data and information from the unknown people. If you are not aware of the security or privacy features that your social media platform offers to you, go check them out now. You cannot image how big of a difference can these settings make for you.
Securing your online identity, data and other belongings is not too tricky if you know how to do it. The aforementioned guidelines should help you make your cyber world a better and securer place.
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