Step out on a busy city street and you are sure to spot people tapping away on their smart phones. These folks are constantly glued to their devices as if their life revolves around them. It’s quite astonishing to see how these devices have manipulated our lifestyles. Likewise, smart phones users on average spend 86 percent of their smart phone related time on using apps. This trend has got cyber security experts worrying, as many free apps are actually designed to collect your personal information. Free apps such as flashlight, children’s games and even bible apps have been found to collect user information in the background. However, anyone can avoid this by viewing the permission required for the application in question. The permissions lay out the detail on what hardware and software features will be accessed. For example, a flashlight app should in no way need access to your personal contacts, SD card or access to your gallery. If an app requires more permission than it is suppose to, don’t download it.
On a different note, social media apps such as twitter, facebook, linked in and other similar apps contain a lot of personal details and can be accessed if your phone ends up in the wrong hands. Anyone who is able to access your phone would be able to simply tap on your facebook and or twitter app and view your timeline. Simply imagining this scenario can be spine chilling to say the least. Consequently, users have recently been using apps like social media vault which can password protect all your social media apps with a single password.
A hacked or compromised social media account can reveal valuable information to a hacker. For example all your personal photos and small details are all that is needed for the hackers to put all the pieces of puzzle together. Once enough personal information is collected, hackers can choose to steal your identity, black mail you or conduct crime using your identity. However, how does one find out if they’ve been hacked? Here are some signs to lookout for.
Statuses and posts not updated by you:
If your account is automatically publishing unusual and weird status updates, chances are your account has been hacked. If someone is posting on your behalf, you need to change your password right away.
Your account has been logged into from a different location:
If you reside in Illinois and someone and you receive a notification that you’ve logged in from California, chances are your account could be hacked. Usually, when your account is logged in from a different location, you are alerted right away. Once again, you should change your password immediately.
You are following strangers:
If you’ve suddenly became friends with unknown people, be it on facebook or twitter, chances are your account has been compromised. In most cases, hackers will post malicious URLs prompting others to click on the link, thus allowing the spread of viruses which can hack even more accounts on social media.
Social media is rife with threats and hazards. Sooner or later, at one time or another, we are bound to have our identity stolen if we continue to use social media in an unsafe manner.