Chapter 2: Steps to take to protect your social media profiles

You just saw the impact of hacks on social media in chapter 1. This chapter, it’s all about the actions you can take to optimize your security. Let’s get started right away!

Social media security
Table of content

Select the part you want to go towards or just start straight from the beginning.

Common passwords that are easily cracked

1: How to create a strong password

The easiest and cliché thing to do is to get a strong password. Ideally, you only use this password once for every system. What should you not include?

All of these have a thing in common: the hacker can easily look it up or it is their first guess at your password. Should you use one of these password, it is recommended to change your password immediately!

You might think, but nobody does this, right? Well think again..

Statistics about password usage

So, what makes a good password?

A good password cannot be guessed at, and has a good variety of letters, numbers and symbols. The most important elements are in the checkbox below so you can estimate if your doing it well enough:

Now this can be hard to remember and that is totally understandable. But that is precisely the point of it all. It takes some time to get use to, but it’s worth the risks!

"A 2019 online security survey by Google identified that 65 percent of people use the same password for multiple or all accounts."
Michael Greene
CEO at Enzoic

Is your password strong enough?

Is it long enough?

Length

Ideally you would want to have more than 8 characters in your password.

Rule of thumb: use a combination of at least 3 random words.

Does it contain special characters?

Special characters

Try to be as creative as you can with the following characters:

&  # @ % *() ! ?

Often you can use a space in between as well, which many people forget!

Can it be guessed or looked up?

Google it, browse your social media

Check if you can find anything that is used in your password for social media. Cause this is what hackers do as well to gain information about you. Again, don't use the name of your dog, surname or the place where you grew up.

Now that you are sure that you hit all the checkboxes, it is time to see where you can store your password in the safest way possible. Let’s go over 2 options that you can use to keep all your passwords secure!

Where can you store your password?

Password manager

In a password manager you can keep all your passwords in one spot. This might be a bit dificult to use at first, but if you spend one evening or morning to set it up, you only need to remember one password.

Afraid that a password manager might get hacked? Don't worry they are protected by the most advanced security software. Click on the button below for more detailed information.

Diary password manager

Password diary

What's the best way to make sure your social media accounts are not breached online? To keep them offline, so in a good old-fashioned diary.

Just take it to work in a bag and make a structure that you understand it perfectly but not somebody else. Or just leave it at home so it cannot be stolen, we all work from home anyway. Click on the button below for more information.

2: How to active two-step authenticaton

The process of Two-step authentication in a nutshell

Ever heard of two-step authentication? This means that the moment you gain access on your e-mail account on a new device, the system will send a code in a SMS to your phone which you fill in on your laptop. 

Voila, you gained access to the new device. If someone would ever want to break into your accounts, they need to intercept the message to your phone as well! This means that you added another layer of security that hackers can hardly break.

Ideally, you will want to add this to all of your social media accounts. Let’s go through the details on how to set it up!

Did you know?

Two-step authentication prevents 96% against bulk phishing and 76% against targeted ones.

Setting up two-step authentication for social media

Setting up two step authentication for your social media only requires 5 minutes of effort, but it makes your accounts much more secure. Considering the effort, it’s definetly worth it!

So how do you set it up? See the examples below

Two step authentication Facebook

You have to do this process twice for the mobile version and the website version!

Process

Login to your account and follow the steps:

  1.  Go to Settings & Privacy
  2. Security and login
  3.  Click on to two-step authentication

 Choose for either a text message or authenticate via app.

Two step authentication Gmail

Process

Login to your account and follow the steps:

  1.  Go to Settings
  2.  Click on to security

Here you find two-step authentication. Choose for a code to your liking.

Two step authentication Instagram

You have to do this process twice for the mobile version and the website version!

Process

Login to your account and follow the steps:

  1.  Go to Settings
  2.  Click on to security

Here you find two-step authentication. Choose for a code to your liking.

Two step authentication Snapchat

You have to do this process twice for the mobile version and the website version!

Process

Login to your account and follow the steps:

  1.  Tap on your profile icon
  2.  Select settings

Here you find two-step authentication. Choose for a text message or an option via app.

Two step authentication Twitter

You have to do this process twice for the mobile version and the website version!

Process

Login to your account and follow the steps:

  1.  Go to the hamburger icon
  2. Select security and login
  3.  Click on to two-step authentication

 Choose for either a text message or authenticate via app.

Two step authentication WhatsApp

Process

Login to your account and follow the steps:

  1.  Go to Account settings
  2.  Click on two step authtentication
  3.  Click on enable

The app wil ask for a PIN and optionally a email in case you forget the PIN.

3: Getting notifcations about data breaches

There are lot of data breaches that happened to big companies over the last few years. Like we saw in chapter 1 with LinkedIn, but there are many, many other examples.

By law, organizations and companies are mandated to report such a breach within 72 hours after the event has been taken place because of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means, you will likely be notified about such matters in the news.

However, this leaves a crucial question: was your personal information within that database as well?

Once again, it is recommend to check out Have I been powned whenever that occurs. Now, when you have been breached, it is better to be safe than sorry, so let’s go through the details of some steps you need to take:

1: Change your password

Even though hackers cannot see what your password is, it is recommend to change it. With the help of powerful computers, even encryptions can be breached.

Now it's not that much of an effort to change your password so let's not take unnecessary chances!

2: Look for two-step authentication

Even though hackers cannot see what your password is, it is recommend to change it. With the help of powerful computers, even encryptions can be breached.

Now even if they have your password or a new one, this step adds another layer to your security and it requires little effort!

Summary of the chapter

Time for chapter 3: Unsafe links and malicious content

We have covered a variety of methods on how to improve your security for your online social media accounts. Only what to do in case you do click on a link you did not want or when you are in doubt whether a website is authentic. In chapter 3 practical steps to check validity for these websites will be explained.

Let’s get started!