Published On: August 9, 2023

Orange bar with colorful circles and words Cyber Chat with Jane Harper Information and Security Risk Expert along with her photo

hosted by Jane Harper, an information security and risk expert

About Jane
Jane is an information and security risk expert, a member of our Easterseals Crossroads Board of Directors and a published author. Additionally, Jane serves on the board of the National Cyber Security Alliance, and she works actively with them to help everyone stay safe online.

She is passionate about information security for all and she is excited to share some tips to help keep us safe online, compliments of NCSA. Every other month, Jane will share some key facts, stories and tips regarding online security.


No matter whether you’re a pro influencer or a newbie with three followers, you need to think about cybersecurity and protecting your personal data while using social media, even if you don’t post often. Here is how you can keep your account secure, enjoy your online social life, and ghost any scammer that slips into your DMs!

Prize your Personal Info

We want everyone out there to be snobby about sharing their personal data – there is nothing rude about it! Your data is worth billions to social media companies, but you can control what is collected. Your personal data is valuable; treat it like cash!

Check your Settings

Even if a social media app or website never asks you for data, you should assume it is still collecting it. Routinely (every month or so) check your settings and ensure everything fits within your comfort level.

On mobile devices, social media apps might ask for you to give them access permissions at all times, but you don’t have to agree. Here are some default settings you should usually turn off, unless needed:

  • Camera – off
  • Microphone – off
  • Location – off
  • Sync contacts – off

Enable MFA

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), sometimes called two-factor authentication or two-step verification, requires anyone logging into an account to prove their identity multiple ways. MFA makes it extremely hard for hackers to access your online accounts, even if they know your password.

Passwords: Think Long, Strong, Unique

Each social media accounts should be protected by an awesome password with these three guiding principles in mind:

  • Long: Every one of your passwords should be at least 12 characters long.
  • Strong/Complex: Each unique password should be a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (like >,!?).
  • Unique: Each account needs to be protected with its own unique password. Never reuse passwords.

Share with Care

Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data or commit other crimes such as stalking. Also, think about who can see your social media musings – most platforms allow you to limit who can see or engage with your posts if you don’t know the whole world to know your business.