Social media privacy: 7 tips to protect your accounts
Social media privacy issues can be a concern for users. Some find the idea of putting so much of your information out there for people to see quite daunting. While social media websites work to protect user’s accounts, unfortunately some problems still occur. The most recent social media privacy issue involves professional networking website LinkedIn. After the loss of user passwords, the website is being sued for $5million by Katie Szyprka, a user of the website from Illinois.
Take a look at some of the most high profile social media privacy problems, as well as our 7 quick tips to protect your privacy.
Why is LinkedIn being sued?
On June 6th, hackers accessed user’s passwords and then posted them to an underground forum. Court documents show that this happened because LinkedIn was not following basic password protection, as outlined by the U.S. National institute of Standards and Technology. To store the passwords, LinkedIn had “Hashed” but had not “salted” them - an outdated and insecure hashing format. The website has now begun following such standards. This is too late for Szpyrka who feels that the members have been deceived by LinkedIn and their previously outdated security policy.
What other privacy issues have been raised?
Previously, when Facebook removed the privacy controls for the ‘news feed’ and ‘mini feed’ features, it allowed users to publish anything they wanted. This meant an increase in abusive content directed at other users and at specific groups of people.
Twitter has also had privacy issues. In 2009 hackers gained control of the Twitter administrator’s password using a dictionary attack. The hackers then took control of 33 high profile accounts, including that of Barack Obama. Several passwords were posted to a website for others to see. The accounts were then used to write bogus tweets. Yet it is also evident that social media websites not only resolve each of these issues, but also work to ensure stronger security in the future.
Here’s our 7 tips to keep safe while using social media:
- If you are using a shared computer, make sure to log out when you are finished
- Keep your password completely private
- Use a variety of passwords across various websites
- Change your password frequently
- Make your password as complex as possible
- Avoid posting any private details such as your full date of birth, or bank details
- Check your privacy settings regularly to make sure that you are happy with the amount of content people can see
Already a confident user of social media? Then check out our free guide to make the most of your efforts.
[Image credit: http://www.benzinga.com]