This form of invasion could have happened to anybody, and it probably has at some point — you just don’t hear it reported when only a few commoners are affected. Hopefully you’ll never have to experience such an embarrassing event; if you follow these tips, you won’t.
While we’re on the subject of passwords, it’s important to make sure that you keep them to yourself. If you wouldn’t trust someone with your credit card number, don’t share passwords with them. Obviously your spouse is a special case, but those should be rare.
If you’ve passed around this personal information before, do yourself a favor and change your passwords. You don’t need to be hyper-sensitive and change them once a week or anything, but it’s a good idea if you’ve been lax in the past.
Take Advantage Of Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authenticationWhat Is Two-Factor Authentication, And Why You Should Use ItWhat Is Two-Factor Authentication, And Why You Should Use ItTwo-factor authentication (2FA) is a security method that requires two different ways of proving your identity. It is commonly used in everyday life. For example paying with a credit card not only requires the card,...Read More adds an additional layer of security to any account that supports it. In addition to your password (something you know), to gain access to your account someone must have a code from your phone (something you have). It isn’t 100% bulletproof, and it might seem inconvenient at first, but the added security it brings is well worth any small hassle. Should a person with malicious intent crack your password, they’ll still be locked out without a code.
The more information about yourself and pictures you share with the public, the greater the chance that your security will be breached. There’s nothing wrong with sharing on Facebook or other social media; just be sure to know your audience. Go over your friends list once a month to be sure you haven’t accepted requestsFacebook Friend Requests: Unwritten Rules and Hidden SettingsFacebook Friend Requests: Unwritten Rules and Hidden SettingsIf you have questions like "Why can't I friend someone on Facebook?" then you need this guide to Facebook friend requests.Read More from anyone weird or someone you don’t know well. A good test of your current privacy state is found on your Timeline: click the three dots menu to the right of View Activity Log and choose View As… to see what your page looks like to the public.
Another good idea is to Google yourselfThe Google Yourself Challenge [INFOGRAPHIC]The Google Yourself Challenge [INFOGRAPHIC]They call it "ego surfing" - when you sit down in front of the computer, go to Google (or whatever search engine you prefer), and find out what information there is about you online. I...Read More occasionally. Knowing the first few results that come up when someone is looking for you helps you estimate how much of your personal details are immediately accessible. If you find anything that you don’t want out there, identify the site it’s found on and fix it as soon as you can.
Let’s take an example of a real hack to illustrate another point. Scarlett Johannson was a victim a few years ago, and her hacker had used the Forgot Password function along with readily accessible Internet information to get into her account. While he was in, he set up forwarding to send every message from her inbox to an email address he could monitor. This let him continue to read her messages even if she had changed her password.
The lesson here is to keep an eye on your outgoing messages on all sites. You’re surely seen a social media scam5 Ways To Spot Social Media Scams & Rogue Apps5 Ways To Spot Social Media Scams & Rogue AppsFacebook is a huge platform for all sorts of scams. Cleaning up after falling for one is a pain; let's take a look at some ways to identify and avoid them.Read More where a friend’s account is compromised and sends you a link to some junk website or worse. Often, people have no idea that this happened until their friends tell them, and someone who isn’t tech-savvy may have already fallen for it. Be diligent and be sure there’s no one using your account silently.
You != Jennifer Lawrence
With these tips, you’re much less likely to become a victim of privacy invasion. Since you’re likely not a person who’s well-known like these women, there’s less of a risk, but know that you are still a target regardless.