The story of Pepe: 10 tips to stay safe in social media


Do you remember our friend Pepe? A few weeks ago, we told you how he started taking seriously to stay safe when surfing the internet or shopping online… And this time, we want to tell you something more about Pepe. We will focus on social media, because there is something you still do not know about our dear friend: Pepe is an influencer.

Every Saturday, Pepe spends time to be in touch with his followers. He usually does a live show around five in the afternoon and answers all the questions they ask him. As a good influencer, Pepe dares challenges to amuse his followers and attract new fans… although he does not enjoy (his body already has some war wounds), but it’s all for the followers.

As he already became a twitstar, Pepe is the perfect target for “haters”, either to hijack the account and get money for it, sabotage his publications, or even prevent him from getting more followers. That is why in different social networks, Pepe takes special care with friendships. On Facebook, for example, he only accepts his closest friends and family; while on Twitter and Instagram he prefers to have an open profile, so that everyone can read what he writes or see his photos.

Despite thinking he is safe, Pepe receives a link on Facebook to a video from a close friend. Our friend, wishing to watch the video, knows that his friend would never send him anything bad so, with total normality, Pepe decides to see it.

Once the link is clicked, a pop-up window appears for Pepe to accept a series of permissions to access the application so that he can watch the video and Pepe, who trusts his friend, accepts each and every one. Finally the video, as expected, does not play and Pepe, disappointed, tells his friend that he can not see the content. His friend however does not know anything about any video. And, as you can imagine, the damage was already done. Poor Pepe!

Unwittingly, Pepe’s friends began receiving notifications with a video on his behalf, and they even messages were posted in his news feed. Pepe does not explain what may be happening, since he has a second authentication factor in his accounts.

In this situation, our (poor) friend Pepe changes the password in Facebook quickly, in the other social networks does not need it since he has different passwords for each one; and warns his friends that the videos are false. It is a very good measure against an account theft, however, insufficient for this case. Pepe has an application with too many permissions.

What have we learned about Pepe in this occasion?

  1. Check the permissions. Many applications or games ask for more permissions than they really need and some can even post content for you.
  2. Check the visibility of your publications. We only have to share the content we want with the people we want. Although we have a small group of friends, the publications can be public and everyone can read them.
  3. Secure and different passwords. Thus, in the case of being “attacked”, only one social network could be stolen while the rest will remain safe.
  4. Second authentication factor. You can increase the security of ypur accounts with a second authentication factor. For example, in addition to the password, a code that will be sent to our smartphone if it’s necessary.
  5. Do not accept friendship invitations from strangers. They could know a lot of information about your photos or even see the friendships or family you have.
  6. Do not post content that you do not like to get more likes. It is important not to get carried away by fads, as with challenges. Social networks are for fun, not to get more “likes”.
  7. Be careful with the links you receive from your friends. Although good friends will never want to harm us, they may also be victims of a virus and messages are being sent on their behalf. Ask before opening a doubtful link sent by them.
  8. Do not let the haters influence your personality. Be true to yourself and remember that your content is for a certain type of person. It is impossible to like everyone and, of course, the haters will continue to annoy you just for fun. There are user and language blockers to keep them from making more noise.
  9. Be careful with geolocation. Nowadays, practically all social networks invite us to indicate our location before sharing the publications on our wall. Remember that if you do, you can reveal sensitive information such as the location of your home or the places you frequent your followers or anyone who has access to your profile.
  10. Avoid Wi-Fi networks without a password. Although it may be tempting to connect to a Wi-Fi network without a password so you do not pull data, remember that by doing so, traffic is transmitted unencrypted and others can obtain valuable information about you, such as your e-mail or your passwords.