World Social Media Day: cybersecurity tips

Social media are today a widely used tool, both on a personal basis, allowing us to keep our friends and family up to date on what we are doing, from a distance and without the need to exchange messages, or for business purposes. Platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram are, in the current era of digital transformation, essential channels for interacting with people, publicizing services and events and retaining professional relationships.

But if, on the one hand, these collaborative communication platforms bring together individuals, entities and communities with common interests, on the other hand, they attract the attention of cybercriminals. These, act more and more frequently, use more improved techniques and, consequently, more harmful, according to the CNCS - National Center for Cybersecurity.

Threat actors use social media to collect sensitive information which, in turn, can be used, for example, in phishing attacks or home burglaries. Furthermore, they use them for identity theft, spreading fake news, spreading malicious software and collecting materials usable against children.

However, with the right approach it is possible to get the most out of these platforms without exposing yourself to unnecessary risks. Therefore, on the day that social networks are celebrated, we share 6 cybersecurity tips with you:

1. Update your device and app software

Keep software and operating system up-to-date, and ensure devices have antivirus and firewall enabled to prevent security vulnerabilities.

2. Protect accounts with strong passwords

Use unique and complex passwords - with at least 10 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters - to access social networks and change them frequently. Furthermore, it is advised that you do not share them with anyone.

3. Turn on two-factor authentication

In the process of logging into your account, enable two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.

4. Check your privacy settings

Not everything you share on your social media profiles needs to be available to the general public. Do not indicate your mobile phone number or address in your profile or in publications, nor passwords or ATM card codes and avoid sharing images of children and limit the availability of the content you create to people you know and trust.

Excessive exposure of personal information on social media can facilitate identity theft, among other cyber crimes.

5. Report fake accounts and suspicious behavior

Some cases of identity theft happen through the appropriation of social network accounts, with the intention of causing reputational damage to third parties or bringing economic benefits to malicious agents.

6. Be especially careful with dubious links

Do not click on publications, images and links that are susceptible to doubt. It could be a phishing scam that directs you to scam pages or tricks you into downloading a malicious file. In these cases, the best way to protect yourself is to access the website in question, through your usual browser, and confirm the existence of any notification.