We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article at no cost to you, though all opinions are our own. For more information, please read our ethics statement. Please note that pricing and availability are subject to change.
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, but it’s important to remember that the personal information we share online can also be accessed by others. Here are 10 steps you can take to protect your personal data on social media:
- Use strong and unique passwords: Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to create a strong password that is difficult to guess. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and consider using a password manager to help you keep track of all your login credentials. (Our recommendation: 1Password, a password manager that keeps your online identity secure. You want to use different passwords for each website, but keeping track of them all might be difficult.)
- Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code sent to your phone or email in addition to your password when logging into your account.
- Be cautious about what you share: Think carefully about what information you share on social media. Avoid posting sensitive personal information, such as your home address or phone number, and be mindful of the photos and videos you post.
- Review your privacy settings: Make sure to regularly review and update your privacy settings on each social media platform you use. Choose the most restrictive privacy settings that allow you to still use the platform effectively.
- Be aware of phishing scams: Be on the lookout for phishing scams, which are fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Be suspicious of any unsolicited messages or emails asking for personal information or login credentials.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN encrypts your internet connection and helps to protect your online activity from being tracked by third parties.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, which makes it easier for hackers to access your personal information. Use a personal hotspot or a secured Wi-Fi network whenever possible.
- Use a secure browser: Choose a browser that offers secure browsing options, such as Google Chrome’s Incognito mode or Mozilla Firefox’s Private Window.
- Be cautious about accepting friend requests: Only accept friend requests from people you know and trust. Be wary of accepting requests from strangers or unfamiliar accounts, as they could be fake or attempting to gather personal information from you.
- Use antivirus software: Keep your device protected by using antivirus software to help prevent malware and viruses from infecting your device (if you have Windows 8.1 or later devices, you don’t need to install or download third-party antivirus apps/solutions, simply use the built-in Microsoft Defender Antivirus).
By following these steps, you can help to protect your personal data on social media and safeguard your online privacy.