In recent times, it was reported by Facebook that 83 million of its accounts were spurious, which, in practical terms, could be the entire population of Germany. So, who owns these fake accounts? As of now, no one knows, though it's clear that these bogus accounts are not used for charities or for promoting a good cause - it's most likely the other way around. Therefore, it should be common sense to take precautions while socializing on social media.
Furthermore, since the invention of the internet, it has enabled us to do lots of things - including chatting on social media website with friends, family and perhaps strangers. More than often, you'll receive a friend request from a complete stranger, and it's likely that - without thinking twice - you'll accept that stranger's friend request - especially if you find that unfamiliar person interesting or attractive. Conversely - once they have earned our trust - many of us often reveal our personal information to strangers without truly knowing the consequences of this naïve, yet critical blunder. Without having any second thoughts- we have a tendency to divulge small, but important pieces of personal information - which may not seem important to you - but can reveal key details about your identity. To make matters worse, imagine if there was a hacker on the other end? It wouldn't take long for this cyber-criminal to put the pieces of your identity's puzzle together, and before you know it, all or most of your critical accounts could possibly be hacked.
Additionally, once this e-crook has access to your account, he or she would easily be able to gain trust from your friends and hack most their accounts using Phishing - fake websites developed to retrieve user account and passwords. Other than phishing, there are plenty of other methods which can be employed by hackers to gain access to victims' accounts, such as malware and brute force.
Nonetheless, you can protect yourself by utilizing the following privacy protection tips:
If you don't know them, don't add them:
The title is self-explanatory for this tip. If you get a friend request from an unknown person, simply don't accept their friend request.
Make use of the privacy restriction options and features:
Most social media websites let you customize your privacy. It's recommended that you limit your profile visibility, this way you can minimize your chances of becoming a victim of e-crime.
Prevent hackers from breaching your personal computer:
Install and update your antivirus software religiously, as this can prevent sophisticated malware from entering your personal computer. Finally, add a second layer of protection by encrypting your important and sensitive data.