We use social networks to follow news and current events, fill our free time, stay in touch with what our friends are doing, share photos and videos with others, meet new people, share our opinions, and connect with other users of the same platforms. However, do you ever wonder if the news you read is true? Do shared photos of your friends really belong to them?
Global Social Media Stats (2021) reports that in June 2021, there were approximately 4.48 billion users of social networks, which is almost 57 % of the total world’s population. In average, a user visits 6.6 different platforms and spends an average of two and a half hours a day using them. In 2015, there were only 2.07 billion users, which means that the total six-year increase is 115.59 %.
Growing social networks seem to be gaining an advantage over integrity and diversity, but security and trust issues are also becoming increasingly serious. Due to the increasing use of social networks, in private and business worlds, the safety of social networks is more important than ever. The rise of social networks has introduced a new security paradigm that puts users at the forefront of the attacker. As a result, social networks have become a new cyber battlefield, posing one of the greatest security risks for individuals and organizations in recent decades.
To make the best use of social networks and avoid risks, we as users need to understand and follow a set of basic safety tips.
- Use privacy and security settings. Make sure you share information with people you really know.
- Do not share your personal information. Never share information that others could use to identify you. Be careful with people who ask for your personal information.
- Change your passwords regularly and do not use the same passwords on different media. Create password that include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Use two-factor authentication. The most common method of such verification is that when you sign up for social media, you receive a text message confirming your identity.
- Delete obsolete accounts that you no longer use and delete as much personal information as possible.
- Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person who sent you a friend request, don’t accept it. It could be a fake account.
- Be aware of the sustainability of the information you share. When information appears on as social media, it is extremely difficult to delete it.
- Avoid online games that require access to your personal information.
- Watch out for online scams and phishing. There include quick money requests, links to quizzes and games that require your personal information, links to photos, abbreviate URLs, prize games and lottery winnings or sudden romantic messages.
Most people use social networks one way or another. Although social networks are useful in most cases, we need to be aware of the dangers and risks that come with our presence on different social platforms. Understanding the dangers of social networks is important if we want to stay safe online. Just following these 10 tips can help make us more secure and less at risk of being targeted by cyber attacks.