Stay safe on social media

Fraud is rife on social media. Posing as legitimate friends or businesses, the fraudsters post fake content, such as direct messages, adverts, quizzes or links to dodgy websites, which are designed to get you to hand over personal information or money.

Here are some useful tips for protecting yourself on social media, by keeping your accounts secure and making yourself a harder target for fraudsters.

Use a strong and unique password for each social media account

Make it hard for fraudsters to break into your social media accounts. To improve your password security, choose a ‘strong and long’ password using 3 random words and make sure it’s different from your email password.

Use 2-step verification (2SV) for your social media accounts

2-step verification – also called 2-factor authentication – gives you an extra level of protection, by asking for more information to prove your identity, for example a one-time passcode (OTP). 2SV can usually be set up in the account security settings – you can follow these links below to the set-up instructions for specific social media / accounts.

Social media privacy settings

Think about who has access to the content you’re posting. Make sure your privacy options are configured so that it’s only visible to the people you want to see it, for example only your friends.

Check before you accept friends and followers

Fraudsters regularly use hacked or fake accounts to pretend they’re someone the victim knows. When you receive a friend or follower request, take a moment to check if you know the person. If someone contacts you asking for personal details, be very wary.

Be careful what you share online

Think about your ‘digital footprint’ – a term used to describe all the information you post online including status updates. Try not to share too many personal details that a fraudster could use to build a picture of you. They can use facts such as your birthday, where you live, family relationships or pet names to steal your identity or make their fraud more convincing.

Other ways to protect yourself

Learn further steps to protect yourself and others from fraud.