Social Media Apps Aren't Spy-Proof—Here’s How to Secure Them



Social media apps are easily accessible and quite convenient. But what is the point of sharing your life on social media if your privacy can be compromised? People fail to realize how social media apps can make them vulnerable. They need to take proper precautions. I will discuss how to secure your social media apps in this article.

How often is social media targeted?

Social media accounts get hacked at an alarming rate. Private business accounts and celebrities are at the top of the list. Corporations experience more than two social account hacking attempts per month on average. Additionally, our study found that on average, four executives at financial institutions in the United States got victimized by credential compromises each year, which often leads to impersonation or takeover of corporate social media profiles.

According to Google, 20 percent of social media accounts will get hacked in the future. Norton backs up this claim, stating that 16% of the surveyed users had their accounts compromised. However, according to a recent University of Phoenix study, 2/3 of all persons in the United States have had their accounts hacked‌. Although there is no exact figure, one thing is certain: it occurs frequently. In the last ten years, network security has improved significantly. On the other hand, there are now a lot more users, which could lead to even more concessions.

Why are celebrity accounts targeted first?

Having a social media presence can be a valuable tool for raising recognition for businesses and celebrities. It is a crucial way to advertise and market a brand. Hackers, on the other hand, may easily exploit and misuse it.

In the event of a hack, the business loses valuable time and money. Consumers get enticed to click on potentially hazardous links that lead to phishing pages, scams, or vulnerabilities. It drives potential new customers too.

Hackers may also aim to use the followers of a social media account to extort money from them. It is why they target accounts with a lot of followers.

Alternatively, they might send malware links to the account's followers in the hopes that at least a few of them will click on them. Any of the followers can click the link and get directed to a website with phishing pages and malware of various types.

High-profile people, including Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, Kim Kardashian, her then-husband Kanye West, and Joe Biden, all had their Twitter accounts hijacked. Even Apple's Twitter account got hacked. It was a crypto scam, with each tweet containing an address to send cryptocurrency. Musk was the first target of the crypto scam when a hacker tweeted from his account promising to double the amount of bitcoin sent to the address.

One common cryptocurrency hoax on Twitter in the past included attackers modifying their display name and image to seem like Elon Musk, then replying to his tweets pretending to be him and asking for bitcoin. However, the accounts tweeting about bitcoin were real.

These accounts get targeted because they have a massive audience of followers, fans, and other businesses. If only 1% of those followers get duped into clicking on suspicious links, hackers can profit greatly, whether in actual money, personal information, or private messages. They might also hack the account to gain followers.

Threat actors have significant odds of success when they target social media accounts with massive followings. Hackers also have the protection of anonymity due to the nature of the Internet. They can initiate an attack without any physical restrictions either. They only need a computer and a working internet connection to carry off these malicious attacks.

But what about people and small businesses? Small businesses, unfortunately, fall into the non-high-profile category of account hacks. It indicates that they occur far too frequently. It is false. It is much worse than this. Because they don't make the news, the networks often take a long time to respond. Attackers will take over a small business account and hold it for ransom. Smaller, less famous social media hacks go unnoticed, and they rarely have the means of gaining access back. They either have to create a new account or pay the ransom to get their account back. In most cases, hackers do not give the control back even after getting paid.

Due to the number of active users on each platform, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter get targeted frequently by hackers. Often you will find hackers using specific Snapchat and Instagram spy app‌ to target users on these popular platforms. Other social media websites, personal blogs, and business websites are not immune to cyberattacks either.

So how can we secure our social media accounts?

Personal social media security tactics

For some, having their social media accounts hacked is like presenting their dirty laundry to the world. Nobody wants to see that. Luckily, there are quick and easy steps you can follow.

Beware of anything suspicious

If you see a suspicious link or a message from a seemingly authentic source, do not click on it unless you are 100% certain. Instead, log out or use the Android or iOS app directly without touching the links.

Keep an eye out for any unsent messages or conversation threads you did not initiate. It is one of the surefire ways of recognizing whether your account was hacked or used recently by someone other than yourself. It should raise alarm bells, and you should immediately change all your passwords. It could just be a family member accidentally sending messages from your profile. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Do not sign in to third party websites using your social media accounts

Many websites such as Medium.com let you signup using a Twitter or Facebook account. These websites, even though legit, can create a vulnerability due to the interdependency. It is something that few users are aware of.

You should sign up for these websites using your email and not your social media profile. Your social media profile contains personal pictures and private messages. The consequences of a hack are much less significant if you use a different email to sign up. Sign out from all such third-party apps and websites and remove any other integration you might have turned on.

It will be inconvenient to not be able to sign in quickly, but it will keep you and your data safe in case your account gets compromised.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a reliable way to secure your social media accounts. The process utilizes your smartphone (Android or iOS) as part of the login confirmation. Before you log in, or if you log in from an unrecognized device or IP address, you will be sent a code on your phone. You will have to enter the code or choose the correct one from the existing code options. You have to enter the code quickly; otherwise, it will not let you log in, and you will have to request a new code.

It is an added layer of protection that significantly minimizes the risk of a hack. It is highly doubtful that a hacker has access to your social media account and phone, making two-factor authentication so dependable.






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