Mumbai, Dec 1: Maharashtra government today issued an advisory about the precautions need to be taken by the people while accessing social media platforms, saying unauthorised access to such accounts by "hackers" could result in "public embarrassment".
Issued at a time when Twitter accounts of Congress party and its vice president Rahul Gandhi have allegedly been compromised, the advisory asks citizens not to access social media accounts from public computers like at cyber cafes and airports and to avoid using the social media accounts having personal information from public WiFi.
"Social media is becoming integral part of one's life and what you post becomes reflection of you/your organisation. Unauthorised access to the social media accounts by threat actors like hackers or other adversaries, at times may result in public embarrassment, reputational damage (personal/organisational), law & order situation," the advisory said.
The communication was issued from the office of Special IGP (Cyber) Brijesh Singh, who is also the state government spokesman. "Enable login verification (eg two factor authentication). This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security immediately. Use a strong password (with numbers, characters, capitals, non-dictionary word) that you don't reuse on other websites/accounts.
Change your password on a periodic basis (at least once a month). "More the number of people having access to your company's social accounts, greater is the chance that those accounts may be compromised. Use social media management system where you can grant your employees access to your social accounts without disclosing sensitive account information to them," it said.
The advisory also asks members of public to use a password manager to make sure that they are using strong, unique passwords everywhere. "Social media accounts are sometimes handled by multiple users. If the feature of authorising each post is available, enable them. "While using your social media accounts from public computers, do take care to log off on use. Preferably do not login from public computers (cyber cafes, airport terminals). Avoid using social media accounts containing personal information from public WiFi," it added.
The advisory also appealed to citizens to not share their login credentials with other people. "And at the first hint of a suspicious activity, change passwords on all other accounts too. Don't write down your password or store it on the web browser for automatic login," it cautioned.