Stay safe on social media and secure your digital footprint

Social media is a great way to stay in touch with family, friends and keep up to date on the latest news. However, it’s important to know how to manage the security and privacy settings on your accounts, so that your personal information remains inaccessible to anyone but you.

Control your privacy settings on social media platforms

The following guidance is provided by each of the major social media platforms. Click to read detailed information.

Make sure that you visit these settings and familiarise yourself with the control you have over your data and information. The best advice is to limit access to your posts so that only trusted people can see them.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect your accounts

Two-factor authentication (often shortened to 2FA) provides a way of ‘double checking’ that you really are the person you are claiming to be when you’re 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 2FA.

You should be familiar with this process because we introduced Multi-factor authentication to University mailboxes in early 2020. When you sign in to your Office 365 account, you are asked to verify your sign-in using a mobile device. You can also configure your social media accounts to do the same.

You can also take advantage of the fact that you can protect all of your accounts (both your University or social media accounts) using Microsoft Authenticator by downloading the app on your mobile phone.

If you need any assistance with this, you can view the Unidesk Self-Service article on how to install and configure the app.

Your digital footprint

When you post or look at anything online, you leave a trail of details and information. This is often referred to as a ‘digital footprint’.

Digital footprints mean you never have complete privacy online. You should be careful about what information you share and take precautions such as:

  • Think about what you’re posting, and who has access to it. Have you configured the privacy settings so that your posts are 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). Information such as your date of birth, full name and personal information can make it easy to steal your identity and gain access to your accounts.
  • Have an idea about what your friends, colleagues or other contacts say about you online.
  • Remove old social media accounts if you are no longer using them.
  • Know what information can be found about you online by Googling yourself and have the information removed where possible.

CyberScotland Week 2021 (22nd to 28th Feb)

We are sharing cyber security guidance and advice throughout the week to celebrate CyberScotland Week 2021. You can find all of our related posts here and visit the CyberScotland Week website here.