Use two-step verification to protect your accounts
Two-step verification provides a way of 'double checking' that you really are the person you're claiming to be when using online services, such as social media, banking or email. Even if a criminal (or someone simply looking to cause mischief) knows your password, they won't be able to access any of your accounts that are protected using two-step verification.
The Cyber Aware website contains links on how to set up two-step verification across popular online services such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.
For more information on why you should use two-step verification wherever you can, read the NCSC's official guidance on two-factor authentication.
Understanding your digital footprint
It's worth exercising some caution when using social media. Not everyone using social media is necessarily who they say they are. Take a moment to check if you know the person, and if the friend/link/follow is genuine.
Less obviously, you should think about your digital footprint, which is a term used to describe the entirety of information that you post online, including photos and status updates. Criminals can use this publicly available information to steal your identity, or use it to make phishing messages more convincing. You should:
Think about what you're posting, and who has access to it. Have you configured the privacy options so that it's only accessible to the people you want to see it?
Consider what your followers and friends need to know, and what detail is unnecessary (but could be useful for criminals).
Have an idea about what your friends, colleagues or other contacts say about you online.
CPNI’s Digital Footprint Campaign, contains a range of useful materials (including posters and booklets) to help understand the impact of your digital footprint.
You can find more information on how to keep your businesses’ social media accounts safe on the NCSC website.
Advice from social media platforms
The following guidance is provided by each of the major social media platforms. Click to read detailed information.