Social Media and Cybersecurity: What’s the Relationship Status?

By Krystal Rennie / Adlumin, Inc.
Feb 2, 2022

It’s clear. Social media and cybersecurity have quite a relationship. We often expose essential parts of our lives on the web, down to the tiniest details. As a result, we should know how social media and cybersecurity mingle. Previously, we’ve discussed the impact social media has had on cybersecurity and the power of misinformation. But now that some time has passed, you may be wondering: what’s the update? What does the relationship look like now? Well, hold on to your seats. After massive shifts like data privacy updates and other emerging trends- this will be a whirlwind.

According to Statusbrew, “over the past 12 months, the number of active social media users increased by more than 400 million, an addition of 9.9% for the total number to reach 4.55 billion.” Shocking? Not exactly, but a great reminder that social media is one of the most popular forms of communication around the world today. Although most social media platforms have security settings, cybercriminals find ways to access sensitive information. This sensitive information can include your passwords, bank account details, email addresses, or anything that they can use to steal your identity. For that very reason, social media and cybersecurity need each other now, more than ever. Let’s explore:

Significant Changes Call for Cybersecurity

Social media platforms are constantly changing their policies and algorithms, and with new updates come new security risks. Social media platforms must rely on cybersecurity protocols and best practices to mitigate risk. Let’s look at Facebook’s plans to transform into Meta as a popular example:

In 2021, Facebook announced that it would change its name and rebrand itself to — Meta. Meta will be based around Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality. Although the social media platform’s structure will stay the same, the new rebrand raises possible concerns about privacy and security. This presents the possibility of data such as usernames, email addresses, and other sensitive information being mishandled or breached by bad actors attempting to break into this new space. Subsequently, the power of cybersecurity comes into play at this moment.

Significant changes in cyberspace are bound to call for shifting priorities and ensuring that user safety and security come first. Social media platforms must roll out privacy and security settings that outline how user data will be utilized and protected. Meta’s new privacy policy can be found here.

What Role Do You Play?

Like all relationships, social media and cybersecurity face challenges. However, throughout it all, they rely on one another to keep individuals safe. As the popularity of social networking sites among businesses worldwide increases, cybercrime will take a bigger bite out of companies unprepared for battle. Whether you are an organization using social media to help generate brand awareness or an individual using social media to keep up with friends, you must be aware of your responsibilities concerning security. A few of those responsibilities include:

  • Use two-step authentication to enter and protect all accounts.
  • Keep your passwords updated regularly; refrain from repeating the same password across multiple accounts.
  • Manage your privacy settings.
  • Use precaution on all platforms; if something looks suspicious, report it.

Keeping the relationship between social media and cybersecurity healthy is not an easy job that can be done quickly. It will require help from us all by using these social platforms directly as they are intended.

Two Peas, One Pod

As long as the Internet of Things is around, bad actors will continue to pose a massive threat to businesses and personal lives. Social media’s intent is to provide access to one another by sharing our personal information and experiences, making it the primary target for hackers.

To sum up the ongoing status of this relationship, social networking sites will always need cybersecurity to protect shared experiences and information. Cybersecurity will always need social media as a channel to communicate the importance of navigating the cyberworld safely.

If you’re interested in learning more about this evolving relationship, check out a recent blog post: Cybersecurity’s Latest Battle: The Rise of Misinformation on Social Media.