We often undermine how important our online privacy is. Whether it’s just because we so naturally brush off whatever case we might hear about with a “it’ll never happen to me,” or because we’re honestly just too lazy to go into our account settings and try to understand what we should and shouldn’t allow, it’s still not okay. You can’t expect people to respect your privacy and information if you don’t respect it yourself, so here are a few ways you can do that, to make sure whatever online presence you have is as safe and secure as possible.
For the love of God, don’t use a weak password. This is by far the simplest and easiest thing you can do to make your account a lot more secure, and it really doesn’t take that much effort at all. Predictable sequences like “12345” or things that are quite obviously personally related to you such as your nickname and the year you were born are all big no’s. More often than not the social media platform you’re using will tell you how strong your password is, so do your best to get it to that maximum – or at least as close as your patience and memory allow.
Also, try your best not to store your passwords digitally. If you’re absolutely sure you won’t be able to remember it all the time, having it written down physically in a safe place at home is probably your best bet, though keeping it only in your head is probably a lot better.
2-Don’t Use the Same Password all the Time
I’m not telling you to change all your passwords every month. That’s not exactly sane, and to be honest, it’s a lot of pretty unnecessary work. The most important situations to note that should prompt you to change your passwords, though, are when you’ve given your login info to someone who no longer needs it, or if you get an alert telling you there was an attempt to access your account (that you’re sure wasn’t you). If you want to stay really safe just in case, even though I do think this is a bit overly-cautious, changing your passwords every few months won’t hurt that much.
What I also mean by not using the same password all the time is having different passwords for different accounts. Why risk someone having access to all your socials just because they might’ve been able to get into one?
3-Use a Different Email
So you might find this one a bit inconvenient at first, but I assure you it’s almost always worth it. The main way to do this is to have one email dedicated entirely to just your social media accounts, and one or more others that are focused on everything else. This ensures that if someone was able to access your email from social media, they won’t be able to get to more important information, like university/work emails, online banking emails, etc.
4-Always Enable Two-factor Authentication
This is super easy to do and is one of the best measures you can take for your online safety. Even if someone manages to get their hands on a password of yours, they won’t be able to login without the code that’ll be sent to your phone number, for example, so it’s an extra layer of protection that can come in very handy.
This is mainly, as the subtitle makes quite obvious, for privacy not just safety, but is still really important. This isn’t always necessary, but if you don’t want people you don’t know seeing everything you post online, then this is really a no-brainer.
6-Always Keep your Apps Updated
Updates will often include security patches that’ll protect you from any new issues or threats that arise, so just have auto-updating on to save yourself the extra taps, and enjoy your more secure accounts.
And, that’s all we’ve got for now. The internet is not always a very friendly place, so make sure you take extra care when dealing with sensitive information of any sort, and also just have some common sense. Don’t give your accounts to people you don’t 100% trust, and don’t send a password over any form of online messaging. Your privacy is yours – not anyone else’s, so do your best to keep it that way.