In the world today, cybersecurity attacks happen every 39 seconds. 300,000 new malware is created every day; our beloved Facebook is attacked 100k+ a day; and, just very recently had a massive security breach.
If I were you, I would be. Every year thousands of people get hacked on various social media accounts. Ever heard of Instagram? I would think you don’t want to lose all those followers you have acquired with all of your hard work only to get all of it lost in the arms of some dude sitting in a coffee shop with code lines running through his computer screen.
Fun fact: I checked how many people searched for the phrase “how to hack Instagram account” and a lot, I mean a LOT of people are looking for answers to this question.
That’s pretty gnarly, huh? So in order to prevent trouble that these so-called hackers can cause you, here are some tips from me.
Some precautionary steps you should be making to be free of hacks and to have a safe account
1. Start with a strong password
Befriend some password managers. The supply is there if you look for it. They will help you create one of a kind, hard to crack, and damn right scary looking passwords that you won’t have to learn by heart because the beauty of the password manager is — it keeps all of that safe for you. The only password you will have to remember is the one that unlocks the password manager app. Maybe write that one down on your hand. Although Joey Tribiani would argue if that is reliable.
2. When to change your password
Not once a day, that would be a little bit excessive. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) it shouldn’t even be once per month.
Here are some guidelines they provide on when to change your account passwords:
1. After a service discloses a security incident.
2. There is evidence of unauthorized access to your account.
3. There is evidence of malware or other compromises of your device.
4. You shared access to an account with someone else, and they no longer use the login.
5. You logged in to the account on a shared or public computer (such as at a library or hotel).
6. It’s been a year or more since you last changed the password, especially if you don’t have multi-factor authentication enabled.
3. Use two-factor authentication
Look for this in every app you have. The amount of apps that are starting to use 2f authentification is getting larger by the year, so keep an eye out for that. It is much more difficult to hack your account if you’re using two-factor authentication on it.
4. Invest in a VPN
VPN is a virtual private network. For those who are not sure what it is and what it does:
A virtual private network (VPN) gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address, so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Most important, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.
The biggest obstacles for hackers are multi-factor authentication and encryption. I already mentioned the first one, but the second one is a must as well. At least for those who want to be a wee bit safer on the vast internet that is available to us. Especially if you find yourself in need of connecting to a public airport, cafe, or library network. Those are the common ways the dude we talked about earlier can reach you.
5. Keep your information offline
To avoid having your information snatched from under your nose, you should also sign out of your accounts when you’re done using them. Even try not to copy-paste your password.
6. Create a unique email for social media
In the sad events of your Instagram account getting hacked, at least the hacker will not reach your other email, the one that has all of the vital information about you.
7. Think twice about clicking on shortened links
One word — phishing. “The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.” Best to avoid those like the hellfire unless it’s really your grandma who is sending you a link through a reputable site.