It’s not easy being the President of the United States, but if claims from Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant are to be believed, Donald Trump may be in desperate need of a tip or two on how to keep social media accounts secure from hackers.
The newspaper recently ran a story about a security researcher who claimed to have gained access to Trump’s Twitter account by guessing that his password was ‘maga2020’ before allegedly posting a tweet that appeared to take a satirical article seriously.
Trump has become well-known by his followers and critics alike for publishing content of Twitter that can be confusing at the best of times, summed up by his famous ‘covfefe’ tweet in 2017 – so it’s unclear whether any strange postings could’ve been the work of a hacker or the President himself.
The security researcher in question, Victor Gevers, described Trump’s Twitter account as being completely free of Two-Factor Authentification – a layer of security specifically designed to stop unknown devices accessing user accounts without permission.
However, considering recent figures published by Cygenta, Trump may not be alone. Only 26% of respondents know that they have Two-Factor Authentification in place where available, with almost half of those surveyed unaware of what the technology is. Furthermore, 62% admitted to not knowing what Two-Factor Authentification was.
With this in mind, there may be a large volume of social media users whose accounts are at risk, so let’s take a look into four vital ways to keep social accounts secure from intrusion:
1. Respect 2FA
Vitally, it’s important to utilise Two-Factor Authentification (2FA) where possible. The technology works by allowing users to sign in on recognised devices but asks for confirmation codes when a login occurs from a new computer or smartphone.
This helps to secure accounts because codes are sent to registered mobile phone numbers and email addresses of the users.
While it can sometimes be time-consuming to set up registered devices to 2FA, but it’s a valuable way of ensuring a strong added layer of privacy for your social accounts. If somebody with bad intentions successfully guesses your password, 2FA will kick in and send a registered email to a linked account, or a notification to a smartphone – meaning that unless they also have access to your emails or phone, they will be unable to access your account.
2. Secure Your Passwords
The best way of shoring up your account is through longer, hard-to-guess passwords. These can often include numbers, symbols and plenty of characters. It’s important to lengthen your passwords because brute force attacks can guess huge volumes of combinations of passwords at a time, but with every extra character, it becomes harder to crack.
If you’re concerned that your account could be an attractive proposition for hackers, it may be worth investing in a password manager, which are accessible for as little as £2 per month. Password managers like Last Pass, Nordpass and 1Password automatically create extremely secure combinations of letters, numbers and figures that are largely indecipherable – however, as the account owner, all you’ll need to do is ensure that you remember your password to the program itself.
3. Find Solace in a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it helps to provide users with privacy and anonymity online by establishing private networks from within public WiFi connections.
By masking your IP address, VPNs render your online actions as virtually untraceable, meaning that nobody else on your network will have the ability to tap into your personal information or hijack your details to hack your accounts.
If a hacker is dead-set on accessing your personal information online, the biggest boundaries to them come in the form of Two-Factor Authentification and VPN browsing. If you’re somebody who likes to check Facebook while in the local coffee shop or log into public WiFi to talk to upload pictures to Instagram, it’s imperative that you encrypt your connection with a VPN to avoid the risk of having your personal information compromised.
4. Always Have a Backup Plan
It’s well documented that Mac devices suffer from fewer security issues than Windows computers or mobiles – but that doesn’t mean that Apple computers or iPhones are safe from the loss of valuable information locked up in cloud services.
By utilising Mac backup services, you can secure your personal information, images and passwords saved on the cloud to ensure that they’re never lost over time.
With so much of our lives spend on social media, it’s imperative that we all have the confidence of knowing that our accounts won’t be compromised by hackers with bad intentions. If it can happen to the President of the United States, it could feasibly happen to all of us.
Written by Yasmita Kumar
A little bit about me: I am a writer and have been writing about various topics over many years now. I enjoy writing about my hobbies which include technology and its impact on our everyday life. Professionally I write about Technology, Finance and Health
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