What to do if Your Social Media Data is Leaked
Source – Forbes
A data breach is an access to private or confidential information without proper authorization. It can be done physically or remotely (which is more typical for social media leaks). They hurt both individuals and companies alike, compromising sensitive information like usernames, passwords, payment information, and more.
If you suspect your social media data has been leaked, here’s how to minimize the damage and handle the situation promptly.
Make sure you take the time to breathe, stay calm, and investigate the situation thoroughly. Most of the time, you’ll discover a social media breach through the company directly, the news, or discovering information on your account you didn’t share. Read all announcements or correspondence thoroughly to understand the extent of the leak.
Make sure you only access information from reputable sources like the social media platform or official emails. Phishing emails will typically occur shortly after a security issue to try and capitalize on vulnerability.
Perform a background check on yourself
Use a reputable provider like CheckPeople.com to determine how far the leak has extended. Pay attention to the social media posts given in the report to see what interactions or comments you remember making.
Check to ensure that other platforms that are connected to your account have not been compromised as well (for example, if you’ve given Twitter permission to post your Facebook content).
Once you have received the report, make sure you subscribe to the monthly access. Monitoring your personal information and online profiles need to be done on a regular basis to ensure the accounts are secure.
Change all passwords
It’s always best to change and update your passwords regularly. However, data leaks mean changing them all promptly. Make sure you choose a unique password with a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Under the setting function of the social media platform, log all devices and users out remotely. This will close out any open profiles you have in case anyone has accessed your account.
Enable Two-Step Authentication
Two-step authentication is the process of confirming new login attempts with a telephone code sent to your mobile device. If a user is attempting to access your profile, a text will be sent immediately to your phone. Without this code, users will not be able to access the account.
Monitor for Online Spending
Make sure to monitor any account-related payments through your social media profile. If you have credit cards, debit cards, or PayPal connected to the social media leak, you can choose to monitor the account for use, or contact your financial institution immediately to cancel the cards. Although a leak has no confirmation of access, suspending the cards is always the safest option if you’re concerned.
Reach Out to Friends and Contacts.
If you’re aware of a social media data leak, you’ve done your diligence in safeguarding your information. Make sure to let your friends and family know of the breach in case their account was also compromised in the leak. At times, communication between the social media platform and its users becomes lost, leaving accounts vulnerable after the leak. It is easier to help someone change their password than it is to help them recover their identity.
Ask your connections if they’ve heard anything new from your accounts that seemed out of character or confusing. Check that no malicious links have been shared on text-based platforms, especially with messenger functionality.
No one ever enjoys hearing about data leaks, regardless of the platform. With a higher dependence on social media channels for individuals and businesses, safeguarding your information needs to be a top priority.
Using a background check website like CheckPeople can help you stay on top of any discrepancies within your social media accounts, especially after a data breach. Although it may seem tiresome to consistently monitor the reports, sensitive information shared on the platforms could put you at risk for identity theft.
By implementing these 5 steps, you can help protect your identity and information online. By acting quickly and deliberately, you’ll be able to minimize the consequences of a social media data breach.