3 On Your Side: Protecting Your Social Media Accounts From Hackers

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jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Is your Facebook password the same as the one for your Twitter account? You could be asking for trouble.

Recent high-profile Twitter hacks serve as good reminders that social media users have to take precautions.

3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan has some advice on how to protect yourself.

Last week, a hacker sent out a false tweet from the Associated Press claiming there had been about explosions at the White House and that President Obama had been injured. The stock market took a nose dive.

If someone can hack into that account, how difficult would it be to get into yours?

Not everyone has millions of Twitter followers, and not everyone’s tweets or hacked Twitter accounts can move markets.

Still, any user can take basic precautions to protect social media passwords and to avoid ugly hacks and stolen personal information, not to mention sparing followers and friends from spam.

First, don’t be lazy about passwords. Have a different one for each social media account. That way, if hackers get into one platform, they can’t get access to all of them.

If it’s too tough to memorize all of those number, letter and symbol combinations, consider an app that can manage them, like “One Password” for Apple, Android and Windows; or “One Safe” for Apple products.

One of the sneakiest hacker tricks of late: Those direct messages or Twitter mentions that appear to be from a connection and ask things like, “Hey, is this you in this picture?” It’s not, but it’s tempting to click on the accompanying link, and when users do, a hacker can suddenly have entry.

Finally, if you’ve simply stopped using an online platform, account or service, delete it completely. Fewer passwords mean fewer opportunities to get hacked.

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