Facebook, Instagram and X users warned to tweak three settings to stop identity theft – and four login mistakes to avoid

Facebook, Instagram and X users warned to tweak three settings to stop identity theft – and four login mistakes to avoid

YOUR social media accounts could be a fast-track for criminals to steal your identity.

Security experts are warning all users to make changes to their settings as soon as possible.

Facebook, Instagram and X users warned to tweak three settings to stop identity theft – and four login mistakes to avoid

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Make sure you have strict privacy settings for your social media accountsCredit: Getty

Social media accounts are a major target for identity thieves due to “oversharing”.

And this can lead to very serious consequences – including crooks gaining access to your bank account.

Now experts at Keeper Security have revealed the dangers of identity theft through social media, and how to stay safe.

“When a cybercriminal has just enough information about you, they can use it to steal your identity,” said Keeper Security’s Aranza Trevino.

“Identity theft can not only be costly to recover from, but it can also be time-consuming, as well as mentally and emotionally draining.

She added: “All of your social media accounts should have strict privacy settings set.”

Settings to change

Cyber-experts said you must change settings across all three apps.

The first app is Instagram, and it’s linked to limiting your content’s reach.

Go to Settings and Privacy > Who Can See Your Content.

Then simply toggle Private Account to the on position, then choose Switch To Private.

Second is Facebook – and again, you’ll want to be restricting who can see what you post.

Just go to Settings > Audience and Visibility > Followers and Public Content.

Then customize the settings to be as private as possible.

“We recommend not having any of these settings set to public,” Aranza explained.

Finally, you’ll want to take a look at your privacy settings inside X, formerly known as Twitter.

Dive into your Settings and Privacy, then choose Privacy and Safety.

Now click or tap on Audience and Tagging, and then switch on both Protect Your Posts and Protect Your Videos.

“The stricter your privacy settings are on your social media accounts, the more secure they’ll be from prying eyes,” Aranza said.

Four log-in mistakes you must avoid

The cybersecurity experts also warned users over four log-in mistakes.

When you’re setting up a new password, it’s easy to choose a simple one that’s easy to remember or re-use a complicated one.

Worse still, you might even be re-using a very simple password.

This makes it extremely easy for hackers to break into your accounts, and so you should change your password as soon as possible.

Four rules you must never break when making a password include:

  • Using at least 16 characters
  • Including uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Including numbers
  • Including symbols

Of course it’s also important to never re-use any password – not even once.

If you re-use passwords, you make it significantly more likely that you’ll be hacked.

That’s because it just takes one app or service to suffer a leak, and then hackers will take your password and try it against other websites.

So you can suffer a chain reaction of hacks – even if your password was very complicated.

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