Authored by Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Kaspersky
Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of a new feature on Instagram - Channels - allowing users to share text posts, polls, and interact with their followers. The Meta team has promised the new format will be available to all users in the coming months.
Channels are a popular tool already being used on other messengers and platforms, such as Telegram. Kaspersky experts have prepared a short guide with tips to help channel owners keep their personal data safe, and not fall for the bait of scammers.
1. Trust but verify
Channels are a great tool for connecting very closely with your audience. Despite this, an extra precaution is always a good thing when your personal data is at stake.
Do not click on suspicious links in channels and do not download unknown files - at first glance do they seem they could be simpler, or more obvious? However, scammers are becoming smarter and more inventive by disguising malicious files or websites as quite ordinary things such as websites for collecting channel statistics, or a presentation with a proposal for cooperation. Through files or similar phishing sites, scammers can gain access to your personal data, including banking information, as well as account data, for example.
A good helper here can be a reliable security solution that will not allow you to enter such a site or open a malicious file.
2. Two-factor authentication and a strong password are good insurance
The old but golden rule of using a strong and unique password that can drastically reduce the risk of loss of any personal data from online accounts is still relevant, especially when you increase defense with two-factor authentication.
Creating a strong password is not as difficult as it seems. Importantly, it must be unique. The safest option is to use a password manager’s ability to create strong non-memorable passwords for all accounts. In this case, users simply need to make up just one strong and unique master password for when using such an app every day.
3. Don’t forget to check account privacy setting
Although channels gather a wide audience around the user and allow you to make new acquaintances and discuss a variety of pressing issues, it’s best to first check the privacy settings of the Instagram account itself. You can start by checking whether accounts are “public” or not. It means, search engines can “see” the data in personal accounts and display it in the search string or not.
On Instagram, users can configure this setting by themselves. Kaspersky Privacy Checker service can be a good helper with this. By hiding from search algorithms, people increase the level of privacy of their data when anyone with internet access can potentially find a phone number or home address.