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How to protect your social media from hackers

Cyber attacks on any social network regardless of the number of followers are more common every day, but they can be prevented .

Person behind a computer wearing a mask

We tell you how to protect yourself from cyber attacks on any social network. / Photo: Unsplash

LatinamericanPost| Juan Manuel Bacallado

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Leer en español: Hackeos en Redes Sociales: ¿cómo proteger nuestras cuentas?

With the globalization of the Internet and the accessibility of smartphones, more and more people open accounts on social networks. According to Statista, only the best-known social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube and the popular Tik Tok total more than 6,849 million monthly active accounts. It should be noted that this number includes people who have accounts in more than one social network, which is common. In addition, there are 4 Latin American countries among the 20 countries with the most active users on social networks, these are: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, according to Juan Mejía's blog.

Hackeo masivo y estafa en Twitter

Hackean cuentas de Twitter de Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama y Uber entre otros, y estafaron a cientos pidiendo determinadas cantidades en #Bitcoin con la promesa de regresar el doble.#LoViEnTV4 pic.twitter.com/O2YRBQooQw

— TV4Noticias (@TV4NotiOficial) July 16, 2020

Now, this immense activity in social networks implies a risk for anyone, regardless of whether they are famous or someone with less than a thousand followers. Hackers take advantage of the vulnerability to enter the accounts and impersonate another person and then ask their loved ones for money, among other scams. For example, in Venezuela, hacking of platforms such as Instagram and Facebook has been reported in which thieves take advantage of identity theft to pose as foreign currency salespeople and defraud others, according to the local newspaper Primicias 24. In fact , The Economist has reported that in 2019 there was an increase of 60% in users victims of information theft through the Internet. These hacks include the theft of financial information such as credit cards or passwords.

How to take care of yourself?

Fake sites

It is common that any web platform presents susceptible points, for this reason there are "hackers" dedicated to investigating what the vulnerabilities are and reporting them and then correcting them, thus shielding the platform. However, there are also malicious hackers who do the same to steal information and threaten to demand monetary rewards. The typical ways that hackers steal data and accounts is through pirated links that pose as an official website, these lead to a false but identical site to the original, where the person is asked to enter their username and password, only to later have that info stolen from them, according to Bizibl.

To avoid this, it is recommended to not believe in any email message or other place that asks to enter your account through a link, the safest way to access your account is through the official website or the application and not by some external link, since in case you need a password change, you will be notified when you enter your account and not by means of an external message.

Similar passwords

In a world where people have multiple accounts on social networks, it is common to “recycle” passwords and use them for everything. This is a risk that increases the chances of being hacked. This happens since perhaps an old platform was the victim of a password theft, then hackers who have this information can try to access the accounts of the same person with the same password, and in most cases they also have the address email, so they can easily access and impersonate your identity, according to ABC.

 

For this, it is recommended to never repeat passwords, a solution can be to write them down in some physical notebook or use a password manager, where you can save the password of each social network and only remember the manager's application code, which should be neither simple nor obvious. Another tip for security is to use the "two-step authentication" that is  included in most social networks, which will send a unique code to your cell number, email or some password manager , so if someone tries to access your account fraudulently, the code will reach the true owner, according to ABC.

Other tips

Other ways to avoid hacking can be to use secure WiFi connections, those that are known and private, with a password. In case of using any public WiFi connection from a restaurant or other place, it is recommended not to have open social networks, the same if you use an unknown device, according to Bizibl. On the other hand, the newer a platform -Tik Tok, for example- the more vulnerabilities it has, so it is recommended not to upload private and important information. Similarly, when entering a social network via the web, you must check that the link is https, this last "s" indicates security.

Also read: The 5 most impressive hacks in history

It is also important to be aware of the login history, to know if there is any unknown access. If they exist, it is appropriate to block or deactivate your account and use an external publication tool if you have one. Then you must report it to customer support, each social network has its own and some are specialized in hacking reports. Finally, it is essential to keep the applications updated.

 

 

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