9 Tips to Safeguard your Personal Information on Social Media

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9 Tips to Safeguard your Personal Information on Social Media

Social networking is a fantastic way to share thoughts, follow the news, stay connected with loved ones, and consume the happenings all around the globe in real-time. But one thing users must be aware of is that the content and information you publish or share on social media platforms may become the feeding ground for hackers, scammers, marketers, and digital third-party services. They can exploit the information to fulfill their objectives that might not be in the user's best interest. 

Also, the credibility of social media corporations has been under scrutiny as they have a history of exploiting user data in inexcusable ways, resulting in users' personal data being shared or sold without their knowledge or consent.

So is there a way out? Yes, definitely. Read further to know how to protect your personal information while being active on social media. 

Top 9 Tips to Safeguard Your Personal Information on Social Media

1. Keep strong and unique passwords for different platforms

In most circumstances, passwords are the only layer of protection against cybercriminals and hackers. Hence, making them secure and hard to crack pays off. Ideally, you should never use your username or information that is simple to obtain, such as your pet name, birthday, contact number, etc., as the login password. These are not only insecure, but in certain cases, they even reveal your password along with sensitive personal information.

A lengthy password is typically considered to be a strong password. Every password needs to be at least 12 characters long, preferably 16. Another crucial thing, you should use a different password and username for every website. Each profile with that password and username is vulnerable if even one login is ever compromised. So, never reuse passwords for the same purpose.

2. Go through the terms and policies of the social media platform

When you create an account on a social media platform, consider what data and information you are committing to share. Before accepting the terms and conditions, go through the legal obligations in the "Privacy Policy and Terms of Service" section. Many of the terms could be in the economic interest of the service, although not mutually beneficial from your data privacy point of view.

A few of the elements may be uncomfortable for you. Some networks, for instance, may collect and sell user data about your search behavior and preferences to third parties for advertising purposes. Check that your authorization and consent options are acceptable to you.

3. Don't give out personal information

Keep your name, identity, contact details, and address private. Sharing a person's actual name may appear harmless, but there's no way to figure out how a hacker or scammer can exploit such data.

For example, fraudsters could be able to infer your email address or acquire it from the darknet using a concatenation of your first and last name. They could exploit this information to target you with a phishing email, which could escalate to the injection of malware and data theft from your logged-in devices.

4. Adjust the privacy settings on your account

You must review your account's default privacy settings to ensure your sensitive information doesn't get compromised. On most of the well-known social networking sites, you can swiftly verify the profile details and privacy settings within 10-15 minutes. 

Decide who can view what on social media, such as your connections, second-degree connections, or anonymous individuals.

Also, take note of your online activities that get shared publicly, such as comments on other posts, third-party site visits, etc. 

5. Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a protection mechanism that demands a one-time passcode, which can be obtained via an application on a smartphone or via text message, in conjunction with your login password. Many prominent social media sites now have this functionality.

Such codes offer an additional layer of security and protection because they are only active for a short time. They're much more effective because they necessitate the person attempting to sign in to know the password and the matching device, which is improbable in most compromising circumstances.

For an added degree of security, you should use an authenticator application rather than SMS.

6. Sign out of unrecognized devices and sessions

Many social media platforms allow you to view active account logins from around the globe. If you've never tried this before, double-check that you identify all the login attempts, such as those on your personal computer and phone. 

Although you'll have to sign in again, most platforms provide the feature of logging out of all active sessions in one go if you come across an unauthorized login attempt from some other unknown device or location. 

Always remember that your accounts are only safe if you stay alert while you aren't logged in.

7. Deactivate old social media accounts

Each social media platform you use is an additional point of personal data exposure. The ideal practice is deactivating and deleting inactive/expired accounts and exercising caution when creating new ones.

If you want to keep an account on a platform you don't use much, keep in mind to secure it with a safe password and have the two-factor authentication enabled. You can also beef up security by signing out of the website and uninstalling the application from your smartphone. If anybody gains access to your device, it is even less vulnerable.

8. Utilize a VPN

As a user, if you want to protect your chats, contacts, and phone calls and keep them confidential, you could employ a VPN encryption service. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to encrypt and safeguard your data and communication. All your data gets routed through a secure channel across the social media platform and redirected to third-party websites and your VPN provider.

9. Do not log in to other services using your social media profiles

When you connect your social media account data across sites, you consolidate more of your data into a single destination. If you trust the third-party site you're signing into with your social media profile, that's fantastic. But if you don't, please remember that if the site gets attacked or hacked, all of your profile data and any data you've shared on other accounts using the same credentials could be exposed.


Social networking is a terrific medium to interact with individuals sharing similar interests and staying in contact with friends and family, but it comes at a cost. What you reveal to the outer world may jeopardize your privacy, identity, and security if you do not take adequate precautions. Hence, it is more vital than ever to stay vigilant both online and offline.