What are they cybersecurity risks of Social Media?

Social media has become an essential part of our lives, almost as important as oxygen and coffee in the morning; you get up, make your brew and spend a good ten minutes scrolling, we're all guilty of it. Having said this, it's nice to escape but it can be a bit of a double-edged sword, particularly as cybersecurity and data breaches are soaring. Apart from TikTok this week being dubbed as a brain washing tool, social media has the potential to significantly improve lives, connecting with friends, catch up on the latest ‘news’, and it even has a high earning potential if you fancy the influencer lifestyle. However, it's also a breeding ground for cybercriminals who are more than happy to steal your personal information faster than you can say "like and subscribe." 


As well as being hacked, our data can be used create harmless targeted advertising, or sold to third-party companies. If you’re an avid a social media user, it's time to put down the selfie stick and ring light and take a few minutes to learn how to protect your data. Because let's face it, your Instagram and TikTok videos could go viral, but they're not worth sacrificing your identity for.  


  • Strengthen your Passwords: The first step to protecting your data is by having strong passwords. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that are difficult to guess, and avoid using common phrases or words. Also, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication is an additional  security layer that requires users to enter a code sent to their mobile phone or email before accessing their account. This can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your account.

  • Be Careful with Links: Cybercriminals often use phishing scams to trick social media users into clicking on malicious links. Be careful when clicking on links, especially from unknown sources. Check the URL before clicking and avoid providing personal information on untrusted websites.

  • Review your Privacy Settings: This seems like an obvious one, but with a wealth of platforms it’s important to keep on top of your privacy settings. Review and adjust your privacy settings to control who can view your posts, photos, and other personal information. Some social media platforms can even track your location. Researchers studied TikTok’s source code and reported that the app carries out "excessive data harvesting". Analysts said the platform collects details such as users' location, what specific device they are using, and which other apps are on the device.

  • Limit your Personal Information: Social media platforms collect a vast amount of personal information, which can be used for targeted advertising or even identity theft. Limit the amount of personal information you share on social media, including your full name, address, phone number, and date of birth. Use only the required.

  • Monitor your Accounts: Regularly monitor your social media accounts for any unusual activity, such as unauthorized logins, changes to your profile, or suspicious messages. Report any suspicious activity immediately to the social media platform.


Are you interested in cybersecurity? Visit our next generation page to see how you can get into the field. 


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