At a time when social media account hackers are proving to be relentlessly desperate, wicked, and unreasonable, the least you can also do is to be relentless in pursuit of countermeasures.
Cybercriminals and account hackers resort to unscrupulous practices such as denial-of-service (dos) attacks, phishing, impersonation, etc., to scuttle account owners' access to their accounts.
This brings to the fore the significance of two-factor (2F) authentication involving an automated sending of a verification code to the phone number or email address registered by the authentic account owner at the point of account registration.
2F necessitates the need for the authentication code sent to your phone or email to be entered in at the time of the attempt to log in to your account either by you or an unauthorized entity.
This way, an unauthorized login attempt cannot succeed since the authentication code is only sent to your phone.
Despite the menace of hackers, humans are social beings and will continue to crave interactions and relationships with others.
From time immemorial, all humans had sought ways to deepen their connections and bonds with others.
However, the advent of social media has tended to expand these connections beyond local frontiers with concomitant threads, chats, conversations, likes, unlikes, follows, unfollows, posts, and shares.
This then makes social media interactions an inalienable aspect of our daily lives and social fabric.
According to Mcafee, over 56 per cent of the global population are social media users to some degree or other.
With all the sharing, conversing, and information passing between family and friends going on, social media can form a distinct digital extension of ourselves.
This then makes it important to know how you can protect your social media accounts from hacks and attacks.
You get a strange call from a hacker purporting to be the admin of a group you are a member of.
The caller then reminds you of an all-important Zoom meeting (for example) scheduled for the following day.
In a bid to appeal to your psyche, the caller tries to sound decent in asking for your permission to be included to attend the Zoom meeting.
They then inform you that you will receive a Whatsapp message containing your passcode for the meeting.
They would call you moments later to request you to reveal to them your code for them to fully ratify your participation in the meeting.
Once you cooperate, they hack your WhatsApp account.
Note that this usually happens if you have secured your Whatsapp number with a 2F authentication that makes it impossible for them to hack it.
Following a similar pattern as in the Whatsapp case above, the hacker attempts to hijack your Facebook account by trying to scramble through your login details.
However, because you have 2F activated, this attempt results in the Facebook verification algorithm generating a code sent to your phone with which you can proceed to log in provided you are the initiator of the original login attempt.
According to a report on the World Economic Forum site, people spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes per day on social media, which might differ widely by country.
In emerging markets like Nigeria, people spend more time on social media largely because of a younger population driving growth.
The study stated that Nigerians spend the longest time per day connected to social media sites, with an average user signed in for 4 hours and 7 minutes.
This is more than the average user in the United States who spends over two hours on social media a day.
Also, according to a report from datareportal.com, there were 109.2 million Internet users in Nigeria as of January 2022.
The report further revealed that there were 32.90 million social media users in Nigeria as of January 2022.
Social media, like Twitter, plays an important role in Nigeria. In 2020, the Nigerian government banned Twitter because of its growing socio-political prominence.
Given how much we enjoy and rely on social media, it is imperative we improve our social media settings and habits.
Whether we are using LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, or Whatsapp, here are things we can do that can help keep us safe and secure out there:
Based on the discussions so far, the following steps are recommended:
When you think of the nightmares and dangers involved in losing your social media account to fraudsters, you cannot afford to spare every effort necessary to secure your account.
Be reminded of the various consequences of your account being compromised including messing with your bank account balance, impersonating your personal account details leading to the compromise of your personal integrity, your loss of vital business information, etc.
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