How to Secure Your Social Media Account?

Social media accounts are powerful tools and a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and keep up to date on the latest news. However, it’s important to know how to manage the security and privacy settings on your accounts, so that your personal information remains inaccessible to anyone but you, and your accounts don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (often shortened to 2FA) provides a way of ‘double-checking’ that you really are the person you are claiming to be when you’re logging in and using online services, such as social media.  Even if a criminal (or someone simply looking to cause mischief) knows your password, they won’t be able to access any of your accounts that are protected using 2FA. Search online for instructions on how to set up 2FA for popular online services such as Instagram, Gmail, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.

Understanding social media phishing

Phishing is when cyber criminals attempt to get unsuspecting users to do ‘the wrong thing’, such as clicking a dangerous or fraudulent link that will download malicious software or direct them to a website that requires them to enter personal details. Social media is a favourite method used by cyber criminals for phishing. With over 1.3 billion people logging on to their favourite social media accounts every month, and the trust that many have in the wider community of users, social media phishing represents a rich source of income for fraudsters.

How to avoid becoming a victim of social media phishing

1. Do not click on links in posts, tweets or direct messages unless you are 100% certain that they are genuine and well-intentioned.

2. Take time to consider your actions before responding to approaches on social media.

3. Ask yourself if somebody genuine would really contact you in this way with this information.

4. Recognise threats of financial issues or offers that seem too good to be true, for what they really are.

5. If in doubt, call the correct number of the organisation or individual from whom the post or tweet claims to be from, to check its authenticity.

6. Even if the post or tweet seems to come from someone you trust, their account may have been hacked or spoofed.

7. If the approach is via Twitter, note that accounts of legitimate businesses usually feature blue ‘verified’ tick to indicate that the account is authentic. They will also never request login credentials.

8. Check for the number of followers on the account. Genuine organisations – including their customer support handles – are likely to have a much larger following.

Secure your accounts

We strongly recommend using the tips below to help secure your accounts in tandem with platform-specific guidance.

Ways for secure your accounts

1. Choose a strong password using three random words.

2. Use unique passwords for each social network.

3. Enable two-factor authentication.

4. Set your accounts to private and review the default privacy settings so you can control who sees what on your accounts.

5. Always lock your device or log off to prevent unauthorised access to your social media accounts.

6. Be careful about the personal information you reveal about yourself online. This can be used by cyber criminals for social engineering.

7. Use the block function to protect yourself from spam accounts and unwanted followers/interactions.

8. Do not click on links in posts, tweets or direct messages unless you are 100% certain that they are genuine and well-intentioned – they may be phishing attempts!


These tips are some potential ways to secure your social media accounts.