9 ways to avoid being a cyber crime victim through social media
Social media has turned out to be one of the biggest sources of cyber crime related victimization in recent years and it is high time that social media users are educated on different ways they can employ to fight the menace of cyber crimes and cyber bullying. Crime is any act that negatively impact the way we relate with the society online and offline. Cyber crimes are therefore those crimes that happen online or rather computer and information technology related crimes, code breaking, hacking, cyber bullying and data manipulation to name a few. The following techniques can be used to avoid being a cybercrime victim on social media.
Using strong passwords
Many people make the mistake of choosing a password they can easily rember, could be their name, surname, date of birth or address. People also go for very short passwords, those they can easily write to login. What people fail to know is that the easier a password is to remember, the easier it is as well for an intruder to guess it. Did you know that 50% of people go for their name, surname or phone number for passwords. It could be a different version of the name or surname, but still, something that is so easy to guess. It is important that you secure your social media accounts with a very strong password. It is far much better to forget it than to allow access to an intruder. Use underscores and other non-aphabetic characters and symbols to strengthen your password.
Rejecting friend request from people you do not know
Some are in the habit of accepting friend requests from strangers they do not know about. If you are on facebook, twitter or instagram for a year now, the highest probability is that you have added to your llist everyone you know. Why are you still adding hundreds of friends monthly? While friends do not have access to your account passwords, but accepting friends and follows from someone mean that he/she can now see your posts and perhaps other personal information about you, your name, your surname, dob, and email, which they can use to maliciously guess you passwords. Would you like that? So for security reasons, never accept stranger follows, connections and requests, infact not even everyone you know must be your friend or connection.
Hide you phone number
Hiding your phone number is one way you can help to protect youself on social media. Most people signup for social media using their phone numbers, now if you make your phone number visible to everyone, a potential account hacker will just be "your password" away from taking over your account. Those among your friends who want your phone numbers will simply sent you a message and you will choose whether to give them or not. I have seen people commenting on some posts using their phone numbers. Avoid exchanging personal phone numbers in comments section. It will be visible to everyone. Have you ever been added to whatsapp group that you never opted to? In most cases you do not even know the person who added you and where he/she got your number. This is one of the dangers of not taking hiding your phone number seriously. The last thing I will talk about is spammy links. Sharing your phone numbers to public can enable someone out there to sent you spammy links and these are one tool most hackers use to collect your personal information once you click on those links.
Hide your email
Similar with phone numbers, people also make their emails visible to the public. Emails can perhaps be more dangerous to phone numbers especially if you use the stolen email frequently. Your email belongs to yourself. Rember, you may have used your email to signup for social media and once you grant people access, they are a step to getting into your account. There are bunch of people online who are in the habit of stealing profile information from social media users and selling it to marketers. These can also be used to sent spammy messages and attachments. Remember most hackers need at least some information about you, even the most insignificant information can make you to become a victim of social media related cyber victimization. Take precautions against personal information exposure. Do not include your email in comments sections. To avoid email scrapping software , write your email as me[at]gmail.com as opposed to email@example.com. This makes it difficult for the software to treat that as an email.
Do not reply to messages from suspicious individuals
Never reply messages from suspicious individuals. They usually sent similar messages and their agenda is to trape you. If you accept a coversation with them, they begin to ask more details from you, your phone number, your email and your address. So do not entertain them. I usually have one policy, to block anyone suspecious. Those who contact for business usually go straight to their issue, they do not start beating about the bushes. Avoid people who ask funding and offer suspecious funding on social media.
Avoid using social media to signup on other websites
Some online websites allow you to signup and create an account using previously created social media accounts. While this sounds simple to do than having to enter details required on the signup page, this is dangerous. Information can be stolen because it means you have already granted that application or website access to your social media information and public profile. It is therefore far much better to signup afresh.
Optimize your social media privacy settings
The beauty of social media is that many of the platforms allow you total control over you account for security reasons. Most social media platforms allow you to control who can sent you friend requests, who can follow you, who can see things that you post, who can connect with you, who can view your profile information and many other settings. Sadly many people do not bother to review these settings, so the settings are on default. You need to change these settings, and customize them to your security needs.
Never Sent friend requests to people you do not know
While you do not have to accept friend requests,follows and connections from people you do not know, you also have to avoid following, connecting and sending friend requests to people you do not know. While you may think its a fame building strategy, it actual makes you vulnerable to cyber offenders and intruders. So never connect with strangers. Sometimes you have to go through you list of followers, friends and connections and remove those you do not know.
Do not answer audio and video calls from sources you do not know.
Last but not least, never answer calls in video or audio from people you do not know. Are you not afraid of satanism? kkkkkk. Sure don't. It is a security threat.
Thank you for reading and perhaps sharing this article. Please do not forget to subscribe below!