A security expert said Tuesday that the best way to ensure your social-media accounts remain secure is to “not use” social media.
“The most important thing is to keep it private, and not to use social media,” said Michael A. Bader, an associate professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.
“It’s not really a question of who you’re talking to, but who’s watching your videos or what they’re doing with your account,” he said.
He said it’s a “dumb” idea to allow your followers to follow you on social media but to use it to monitor your own account.
Baders analysis comes as the FBI is trying to crack a major cybersecurity breach at a popular social-networking service.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been investigating the alleged breach of the popular social network Twitter, which could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the accounts of millions of people.
The breach has been reported in at least six countries, and Twitter has reported that the hack appears to have been limited to the company’s own users.
Bades research suggests that social media is one of the least secure ways to communicate with your followers and is not nearly as secure as email or other secure methods.
He says using social media can provide “a level of anonymity and privacy” that can be hard to obtain from traditional methods of communication.
“In the world of security and anonymity, we’re all using tools that we know can be abused,” he told The Associated Press.
“If you can’t say you’re anonymous, it’s hard to trust your friends.”
Bader’s research is part of an ongoing effort by researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at UC Berkeley to build a secure alternative to Twitter.
He believes that the platform’s “easy-to-use” tools make it a “good fit” for secure social-network users.
The researchers have also begun building a secure email client called Freenet, which will use a private network to allow users to communicate securely, he said in an email.
Twitter has yet to publicly respond to Baders findings.
A Twitter spokesman told The AP that it has “a strong cybersecurity team dedicated to making Twitter the safest place to communicate online.”