How to keep criminals out of your social media and email accounts

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

ActionFraud, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, receives tens of thousands of email and social media account hacking reports a year. To raise awareness of how we can all protect our profiles and inboxes for criminals, ActionFraud has launched a #SecureYourAccount campaign.

1. Change your email password

We use our email addresses for a considerable number of things, including private and confidential matters. If a criminal guessed your password, they’d soon be able to build up a clear picture of who you are, which could allow them to mimic your identity.

Furthermore, if a hacker got into your email account, they could reset all your other passwords, locking you out of your social media profiles. ActionFraud say,

“Your email password should be strong and different to all your other passwords. This will make it harder to crack or guess. Using 3 random words is a good way to create a strong, unique password that you will remember.”

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2. Turn on two-factor authentication for each of your social media accounts

There’s a quick and easy way to make sure than if your password was involved in a data breach or a criminal guessed your logins, your profiles would still be safe: 2FA.

Two-factor authentication means that when someone tries to log into your account on an unfamiliar device or browser, they are asked to input a code. Since the code is usually sent to your mobile, only you will be able to complete the process. This gives you control over who can access your account and also a notification if anything suspicious is going on.

ActionFraud share guidance on how to turn on 2FA on each of the major social media platforms on their website:

It’s worth using this guidance to keep both your personal and your work profiles safe. What information about your business could be vulnerable if a hacker got into your work account? Could being hacked jeopardise your company’s reputation?

In just a few minutes, you can protect yourself and your business by changing your password and turning on two factor authentication.

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