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How to protect your privacy on social media

Person looking at social media on their phone

No matter what social media platform you use—Facebook®,, Instagram®, TikTok®, or Snapchat®—your social media accounts keep you informed, connect you to the broader world, and help you stay close to friends and family. But did you know they can also expose your personal information to hackers and identity thieves?

At Asurion, our experts help millions learn more about their tech, from how to stay safe online to offering their picks for the best password managers. Here are eight things they recommend to social media users to protect their online privacy

Don't share your personal details

Never post your phone number, home address, email address, or any personal information in your social media profile—if criminals can't find them, they can't use them against you. Even seemingly innocuous information, like your hometown or pet's name, could help hackers crack your security questions or passwords. A good rule to follow: Make informed decisions and only post content you don't mind sharing with the whole world.

Avoid sharing your location.

Social networks make it easy to share your exact location, and getting likes and comments from friends who've been to the same restaurant in New York City or beach in Florida can be fun. But it also tells people where you aren't. You wouldn't want bad actors seeing your posts and figuring out that your home is empty while you are thousands of miles away, right?

Make your accounts private

Be selective about who can see your profile. Your social media posts should only be visible to people you know and trust. If your Instagram account is open to the public, think about all the information scammers and marketers can glean from your posts—where you shop for groceries, what you eat for dinner, or even where your kids attend school. The exact steps vary depending on your platform, but they typically involve navigating to your privacy settings.

Think before you click

A suspicious link in a Facebook message or tweet could allow hackers to control your account or install malware on your computer. If you don't know the person who sent you the message or if their online activity seems sketchy, delete it. It could be a phishing attack or a scam that aims to steal your username, password, and even your social security number. To learn more, read our guide on spotting phishing emails and our guide to spam text messages.

Update your apps

Always update your social media apps. Updates give you maximum protection against bugs and hacks. Better yet, turn on automatic updates. Depending on your device, look for this setting in Settings, then Software Update, System Update, or Update & Security.

How to update apps manually on your iPhone or iPad

  • Open the App Store®.
  • Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
  • Tap Update next to your social media apps to only update those apps, or tap Update All.

How to update an Android app

  • Open the Google Playstore.
  • At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  • Tap Manage apps & device. Apps with an update available are labeled "Update available."
  • Tap Update.

Reject and report duplicate accounts

If you get a friend request from someone already on your friends' list, don't accept it—there's a good chance their account has been hacked. Instead, report it via the Settings tab.

Don't take quizzes that require access to your profile

Social media quizzes may be mindless fun, but they're often designed to capture your personal information. Even if they assure you they won't post to your feed, they may sell your details to scammers. So the next time you're tempted to find out which Harry Potter Hogwarts House you'd be assigned to, don't.

Avoid using social accounts to sign in to other sites

Using one of your social media accounts to sign in to accounts on other websites is easy, but it puts your personal information at risk. If one of the sites gets hacked, all your accounts using that login information also become vulnerable.

Following these tips will give you an extra layer of security and help you avoid privacy issues.

Need help making sure your social media passwords are secure? Here's our guide to creating strong passwords

Tried these steps and still need help? We got you. Get your tech problem solved when you call or chat with an expert now.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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