Social media data security is greatly becoming a trend, thanks to the latest tech inventions disrupting the way we relate and communicate.
The advent of the digital age through the internet has given birth to a new platform or tool that aims to fast track the exchange of communication. The term “internet” which was loosely described as a global network of computers served as the backbone for these platforms that amplifies what technology experts termed as a “global communication system.”
Tech-savvy users used the terms internet, the web, or WWW interchangeably; all these terms operate in the same context and language of Information Technology or IT. The internet or the web as we call it today is composed of a very complex infrastructure of peopleware, software, and hardware. But all these elements perform a dynamic web of a communication system designed to provide easy access to information using advanced technological platforms.
Fast forward to the 21st century, the internet ushered a new era of technological tools with the end of the goal of establishing closer and efficient connectivity in real time. And so digital entrepreneurs launched “social media” platforms with each platform performing a unique and distinct role in peoples’ lives.
What is social media?
By its simplest definition, the term social media is a certain way of interactions where an individual or a group of people share information they created in a digital group or virtual network of communities. This type of social interactions is done by using several platforms or tools to engage other people using digital communication.
These social media platforms or tools are categorized according to their purpose and functions. There are blog tools intended to be a platform to generate discussions over a particular topic or issue. We have tools that connect your friends and families or with other people through a social network. We also have tools that aim to generate information by using a short type of messaging. Other social media tools served as a platform to publicly display and share your photos, and videos, among people. We also used tools that allow people to exchange relevant details about jobs as shared by a group of professionals.
Some of the popular social media platforms widely used by the netizens nowadays are photo and video sharing app Instagram, social media app Facebook, micro-blogging site Twitter, video sharing and hosting app YouTube, photo and video hosting app Flickr, text messaging apps Snapchat, Viber, Telegram, among others.
Social media statistics
In gist, all these social media tools play an essential role in our lives, whether privately or publicly. A recent report by online site Statista revealed that at present, social media users across the globe now is at 2.77 billion. Statista projected that the present number of social media users is seen to increase until 2021. For 2019, the 2.77 billion social media users could triple in the coming years. The same company, however, warned that the increasing number of social media users across the globe is prone to identity theft. It further emphasizes the need to develop a stringent implementation of policy that would protect social media users’ personal information.
Threats of social media
With the expected ballooning of social media users, digital security analysts fear that such huge figures of social media users can be a target of digital fraud, identify theft and other digital-related crimes. In particular, they raised the issue of data privacy, which, in several cases, the personal data of social media users have fallen into the hands of hackers that led to identity theft.
The issue of the data breach was triggered when social media giant Facebook has reportedly stored the passwords of its users—numbering to millions—unencrypted. This means that Facebook is storing the passwords of its users in such a way that it can be read by its staff and employees. Such expose was met with harsh criticism from Facebook users, digital security analysts, and government officials.
According to Facebook, it receives at least 600,000 hacking attempts daily. Apart from Facebook, other social media platforms were also hacked in the past. For instance, it can be recalled in 2012 that LinkedIn was hacked when a hacker exposed the passwords of the 117 million users of the company. The hacking incident pushed LinkedIn to place a safety mechanism on its platform to protect the company’s users from any hacking attempts in the future.
How to secure your social media data on popular social networks?
The issue of online security threats and breaches in social media data can be avoided by implementing the security features of each social media platforms. By doing so, data breaches can be prevented, and it provided another layer of protection against hackers.
Facebook users can download and use the Tor Onion Site option so that hackers can’t track your location when using the social media app. They can also use a VPN service to establish and secure one’s location privately.
LinkedIn users are suggested to implement three-level security to improve the app’s confidentiality level. Also, users are further advised to check names for duplicity by clustering them in groups. By doing so, users will be able to identify malicious names.
Use strong passwords
As a general rule, social media users are advised to use strong and unique passwords, especially those who are using multiple accounts. A strong password has a combination of special characters and alphanumeric characters. A unique combination of these characters using a password manager will thwart any attempts of hacking.
Enable two-factor authentication
Enabling two-factor authentication in every social media account will add an extra layer of protection. This works when a social media app notifies you through text that your accounts are being accessed in a certain location using a particular browser or device.
But if you want to be secured all the time when using your social media accounts, you might as well consider using VPN. Using a VPN allows your communication to be private by securing it through the use of encryption. This means that all your communication will pass in a secure and encrypted communication channel.