Social Media Security

It’s Social Media Day, which means you’re encouraged to post twice as many baby photos, pictures of your meal and at least four times as many OMGs, LOLs and TMIs.

But while you’re cruising the social waves we want you to take an extra five minutes to beef up your online security in honour of Social Media Day. You wouldn’t leave your front door open, and locking up your online life nice and tight is never wasted time.

Let’s start with how to improve your social media security.

Creating a Strong Password

Follow these rules to make sure your passwords are strong.

  • Never use the same password twice.
  • Use random passwords.
  • Use mixtures of uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers.
  • Make it at least 8 characters. No, make that 15.
  • Don’t rely on substitutions (swapping an “E” for a “3”, or “a” for an “@”) to make it strong. Because it doesn’t.

If your 8-letter password is all lowercase and is a word that’s in the dictionary, a hacker’s computer can figure it out in under three hours. If those lowercase letters are random, it would take it two and a half days to crack.

If you add just one random punctuation character to that 8-letter password it’d take closer to 200 years to figure out.

Make your password 15 characters long with randomised uppercase, lowercase, special characters and numbers and that same computer would need over 150 billion millennia to break it!

Why You Need a Password Manager

So that’s your target. Every password needs to be 15 characters long, random, and a mixture of letters, numbers and punctuation. Not easy to remember though, eh?

Password managers to the rescue! These are apps that connect to your web browser and securely save your many different passwords, and will also generate those long, random ones we love so much.

All you need to remember is your master password that opens your password manager, and the app takes care of the rest. So that one needs to be long, weird and also memorable, and make sure you don’t forget it or your saved passwords are gone forever!

Check out apps like Dashlane, Lastpass and 1Password, which provide these great security features entirely for free.

Social Media Security Updates

Here are a few convenient links to popular social media pages where you can update your passwords and make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google and more are all safe and secure on Social Media Day. Same time next year?