Social media usage get an incredible growth because of the pandemic. But unfortunately, this presents an opportunity for scammers, too.
Stats show that that the number of people losing money after getting scammed on social media has tripled in the last year (2020). People are looking for ways to avoid identity theft or other scams on social media platforms.
Social Media Tips: How to Avoid Scams
Here are some useful tips on how to avoid scams or hackers on social media.
- Types of Social Media Scams
There are many types of social media scams. The term is quite vague and can cover any type of scam you can find on social networks.
Types of common social media scams
● Phishing scams. Links sent to you via messages or published by fake pages may go to websites that are not secure. You might have accidentally given up personal details or even money.
● Romance scams. Some scammers go in-depth. They may pretend to be someone else and try to convince you to send them money, playing with your feelings. They may do the same thing to collect details from you to sell or use for credit card applications.
Dating apps have made romance scams even more prevalent. You need to pay more attention to dating apps.
● Quizzes. When you see quizzes on social media, you might think they are harmless. But these are common methods to get your personal details and they can be used to harm you.
● “Stuck” scams. People might use social media as a way to pretend to be a relative or friend. They pretend that they need help (Money) because they are stuck abroad or in financial trouble.
Unfortunately, these are just some of the types of scams. But there are even more inventive techniques to steal your information to make a profit.
- How to Protect Your Privacy and Avoid Scams
Luckily, you can protect yourself against identity theft and social media scams. Don’t forget that people don’t need your card details to scam you. Identity theft is more complex, and they might make a lot of money applying for finance in your name.
● Use antivirus software. Effective antivirus software can help you a lot. There are also software solutions for identity monitoring or even managing your passwords.
● Don’t share personal details. On social media, a lot of people are sharing personal details. Do you know and trust everyone on social media? The answer is probably “no”. Don’t share personal details.
● Use secure passwords. Special characters and mysterious passwords are a must. Don’t make it easy for someone to access your accounts, it is better to use two-factor authentication. You can even use a secure password manager if you struggle to keep track.
● Verify who is contacting you. If someone reaches out, you should always check who it is and whether or not they are legitimate.
● Avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Public and unsecure networks may provide a way for scammers to track your activity and steal details.
- General Safety Rules
Create strong passwords, and make sure you set up a different password for each social media account. Install Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication (2FA) and enhance your security.
Stay away from fake accounts. Some platforms allow anyone to follow you, but you can always block them or ignore them if you don’t know them in real life. Fake accounts may want to scam you, so don’t click on suspicious links.
Also, you don’t have to open every direct message (DM) or answer every question.
When it comes to your phone, make sure to use a password to protect it. Always use antivirus software on your computer. Regularly update your browsers and operating systems.
Also, it’s important to read the privacy policies of platforms you’re using and customize your accounts to hide personal information.
The threats or scams on social media are very common, and you need to know how to avoid them. Also, you can report anyone or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.