Seven Ways That Social Media Sabotages Cyber Security

Social media websites have become one of the biggest fads to run through our society during the 21st century. The most interesting and slightly dangerous little known fact about social media is how little is known about the companies that sit behind them.  
 
By Christina Lee
 
Where does your data go? And how does having a social media webpage affect your cyber security? Although social media can do a lot for you as well, it also slyly takes a lot away.
 
Your data is being siphoned off in little chunks, even if you think you’ve done your utmost to make sure you are secure. However, this should not stave you off social media sites completely, but simply be a warning to be smart with how you use them and what information you give them. 

Here are seven ways that social media websites are slyly sabotaging your cybersecurity. 

1: Allowing for Identity Theft
 
Sharing too much personal information online can allow for identity thieves to have a field day with your data. Even sharing public pictures of your family members, your date of birth, or where you went to school or grew up can put your identity at risk. All that identity thieves need are a few important details, and you can find yourself in a world of trouble. 
 
2: Disgruntled Employees Damaging Business
 
This is a big one if you are a small business owner or operate any kind of business. Even if you don’t, you need to watch out that you don’t do it yourself. A few social media platforms are used to vent about things, and airing feelings online is never a good idea. You can get yourself into trouble by airing your feelings online, because everyone can see it! Social media is all about freedom of information, and sometimes its all too free. 
 
3: Allowing for Malware
 
Social media is a massive gateway for malware and hidden corruptive links. Malware can be found on social media in ads and links in bios. These can attach themselves to your computer, phone, or link themselves to your social media and ruin things for you online. 
 
4: Encouraging Catfishing 
 
Online interactions allow for much more than a connection with someone sans face to face activity. Building these interactions online with identity verification can lead to disappointment and heartbreak, but they can also allow for more sinister intentions such as identity hacking or the manipulation for personal data. 
 
5: Exposing yourself to Home Invasion Potential
 
If you leave your social media open and public to be viewed by just anybody, you allow yourself to be left vulnerable; more than just online. If potential thieves already know through social media or personal interaction where you live, it is a few short steps away to home invasion. Simply ‘checking in’ somewhere, or posting that you are going to be away for a few hours or days can give thieves the tip off needed to know they have free reign of the house and can break in. 
 
6: Leaving Accounts Unused
 
Even though using social media accounts can expose you to cyber attacks, not using an already active account can be dangerous too! If you are not careful, leaving an account untouched can let hackers break in to your account and start contacting your connections, post harmful things about you, or get the information they need to hack and steal your identity. 
 
7: Leaving your Phone Unprotected
 
Leaving your phone unprotected is an easy way to open yourself up to a cyber attack. If you potentially lose your phone or have it stolen, it could end up in the hands of someone who doesn’t have good intentions for it. Although this is a common occurrence, we can’t all protect our phones with encryption after encryption. The best thing to do is protect your phone, and all the subsequent data that is behind it, with a strong password.  
 
Although these seven tips are a stern word of warning to be careful on social media, it is not at all to say that social media is the devil incarnate. There are lots of great ways to use social media in safe and cyber secure ways, you just need to be careful with your personal data. 
 
Christina Lee is a social media strategist and youth mentor at Essay for sale
 
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