Years ago, it was difficult to keep up with friends, relatives, and employees who are not in your neighborhood. But with social media, there is no more distance barrier between loved ones. The advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp messenger among others have made it easy to connect with people all over the globe.
However, this convenience came with known and unknown security threats -- as you are not completely safe on social media. There are a few things that could threaten your safety offline as a result of your presence online. Some of these threats are:
#1. Fake accounts holders on your followers list
This is one of the common threats on social media. There are several fake account on social media that unfortunately, bears a name you are very much familiar with. And because you think the account holder is someone you have met before, you might not mind taking the friendship from social media to a much deeper level.
Most times, such fake account holders lure the unsuspecting victims into agreeing to an offline meet up – sometimes at their homes. And such meetings could result in rape, kidnapping or other terrible consequences.
In this case, it’s advisable that you never agree to meet up with any supposed “online friends” in your home or at their place no matter how advanced your home security system is. Always make sure that you’ve two or more trusted persons with you when you’re meeting with your new online friends and always meet at open places.
Additionally, some fake account holders might pose as charity organizations to swindle unsuspecting citizens. Beware of fake accounts.
#2. Unverified celebrity accounts
On social media, celebrities or popular figures can get a verified badge. The purpose of the badge is to let their followers know that the account holder has been certified genuine. However, some celebrities don't bother with this security measures. And this nonchalant attitude to internet usage poses a threat to them and their fans.
It was reported sometimes back that some compromising celebrity pictures were leaked online – which is old news – but the outcome and outburst generated a lot of buzz on social media. Some of these celebrities denied these pictures as theirs on social media which was equally sent directly to their followers.
Imagine if some of these accounts were not verified, parody accounts can equally be used to spread wrong information about these celebrities to their followers as there won’t be any way to verify that the information is not genuine.
Also, followers of such unverified accounts can be exposed to hackers and are susceptible to spamming. So, always ascertain the authenticity of the celebrity account you are want to follow on social media for your social media safety and for the sake of getting the right information.
#3. Leaking of private information
Social media is one of the fastest means of releasing private information to the world. There are some things that you post online that are not meant to be seen by certain individuals.
For instance, a post about how your business made three times its previous quarterly profit might send robbers on your trail. Also, an employee asking for assistance on how to run the latest software your organization just introduced might have exposed your most viable business tool to your competitors. And in the long run, your competitors may eventually be a step ahead of you and it may take you several more years to get ahead again. So, any information that might cause your security to be bridged is a threat attached to using social media.
#4. Social media phishing
Most of us have been a victim of this at the initial stage of our being active on social media. The quest for information is what makes this a social media threat.
Hackers would create a link that is related to the information that is mostly sought by their targets. And once you download anything from that link, you have automatically allowed hackers to gain unhindered access to your computer.
What you downloaded is actually a malicious code that breakdown your antivirus and firewall, such that a third party can easily access your system from anywhere in the world -- as long as you are connected to the internet.
Truth be told, it’s not every link on social media that you should click no matter how interesting they look. Some people are overconfident about the security measures on their computer that they still access almost all the links that comes their way.
However, you need to remember that hackers are always trying to be a step ahead of their potential victims. So, stay safe by guarding your social media activities.
#5. Inadequate security measures on a social media page
Some social media sites do not give priority to securing the information of their users. Such sites are often filled with spam messages and malicious codes. What happens here is that any one that visit such sites is susceptible to hackers. And of course, all your confidential information, most especially your passwords are easily compromised.
You don't have a fault in this case but you are just a victim of an overlooked security threat. But one of the things you can do differently is to make sure that you check for the security measures of a social media site before you visit the page.
Additionally, you should ensure that your firewall and antivirus are set on their highest level of security. And then log out of the site immediately you see anything that seems like a spam message on a site.
There is no way a social media site can guarantee that there won't be some threats to your safety while you use their sites. So, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not fall victim of such risks by ensuring that your security measures are regularly updated. And you should consider staying off sites that seem to be compromised.