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Blog > Social Media > Social Media Cleanse in 4 Quick, Effective Steps
 April 04, 2024

Social Media Cleanse in 4 Quick, Effective Steps

Father and sons doing social media cleanse on their devices.

Wondering what our social media profiles have to do with getting hacked? Well, cybercriminals often lurk around, scouring social media platforms to scoop up personal information they can get their hands on. This information can be exploited for malicious purposes, such as identity theft, phishing scams, or social engineering attacks.

This is why cleaning up our social media profiles is crucial for protecting our online security. Social media cleansing is like locking the doors to our digital lives! By regularly reviewing and removing sensitive information from our profiles, we may mitigate the risk of falling victim to these threats. That’s right! Tidying up our social media is a little extra security measure to keep us protected.

Man helping two young boys with a social media cleanup of their accounts.

Social media security

Let’s think about the type of data that is stored in a social media account! They hold a range of sensitive information, including PII (personal identifiable information) such as names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and other contact info. If you’re buying directly from these apps, some of them even hold your credit card or bank account data. And don’t forget about your photos and videos!

They also collect location, messages, connections, and user activity data. This type of info reveals loads of details about your personal preferences, social interactions, and even health-related stuff. The importance of social media security is now crystal clear, isn’t it?

What information do hackers target on your social media accounts?

A hacker who gains access to your social media accounts can potentially obtain personal information as we mentioned earlier: contact details, financial information, login credentials, and even photos or videos. Plus, they’re not just after your data, they’re eyeing your friends’ too! Through your profiles, they can snoop into your friends’ profiles, mutual private messages, and contact lists.

Then, keep in mind the spamming game! Hackers spread all sorts of junk, from phishing scams to malware, false information, advertising scams, and even political propaganda. This is why it’s crucial to watch what you share and who you add to your social media accounts to try to keep your and your friend’s information safe from these sneaky cybercriminals.

Secure your passwords and enable two-factor authentication

Do you have old or repeated passwords? As most of us do, you probably reuse outdated or weak passwords for various accounts. This significantly increases your vulnerability to hackers! Using a password manager is a great tool to manage your passwords more effectively. They organize your passwords, suggest stronger ones, create a unique one for each account, and even remind you to update them.

Enabling two-factor authentication on your social media accounts adds an extra layer of security! It requires you to provide two forms of verification before accessing an account, such as an SMS or email code. It’s like having a double lock on your door, requiring two ways to get in! You can reduce the risk of unauthorized access, even in case of a data breach.

Now that some security has been implemented, let’s dive into the important social media cleanup!

Social media cleanse: 4 quick steps to clean up your accounts

1. Review your social media accounts

Let’s start tidying up your social media! First, take a detailed look through all your social media profiles to assess what information is publicly available or visible to others. Decide which accounts are not necessary to keep and try to remember old social media accounts from years ago to deactivate them.

Then, make a list of old usernames and email addresses you’ve used in the past that could be linked to you. Go to a search engine and search your name to uncover any forgotten accounts still active. Social media platforms can store loads of data you’ve uploaded, so you must dig deep! The goal of this step is to gain control over the available info about you that is online.

2. Reinforce your social media privacy settings

Next up, strengthen the security and privacy settings on your social media accounts. This is a simple step, but the most important one! You must adjust privacy settings related to who can see your posts, photos, personal details, who can contact you, and what personal information is visible on your profile. An easier way to do this is to make all your profiles private, instead of manually disabling each setting.

Another big step is to check what apps or third-party services have access to your account data. Remove or limit any permissions that you’re not comfortable with. Your goal in doing this is to ensure your online presence is secure and aligned with your privacy preferences.

3. Remove harmful, inappropriate content

Mother and father helping their two boys with social media cleanup and security.This third step is essential in your social media cleanse endeavor! Once you decide which accounts you’re keeping and making them private, it’s time to make a thorough scan of them.

Review all your profiles for inappropriate content. Delete posts and comments (yours or others) with swear words, excessive alcohol or drug use, illegal activity, or too much partying. Don’t forget to check posts or comments you’ve been tagged on.

Here’s a trick to help you decide what type of content to keep or get rid of: Consider a potential employer or a partner’s family member going through your profile, what type of info would you like them to see? Remove anything unprofessional or offensive!

4. Unfollow and block suspicious accounts

Moving onto followers and who you’re following! Your friends list should mirror your values, so stay connected with those who share similar goals and values. Consider unfollowing or blocking users that have offensive content or those you don’t want to be associated with. If there’s anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see, it’s probably best to delete it while you’re cleaning up your social media.

Finally, watch out for warning signs like strange usernames, spam accounts, inappropriate bios, or explicit profile pictures because they can show potentially harmful or undesirable connections. This way you protect your social media security and reputation.

In essence, protecting our social media presence is essential in today’s digital world. With cyber threats looming, regular check-ups and privacy adjustments are crucial. By cleaning and managing our profiles, we’re not just protecting our own data but also helping make the online world safer for everyone.

How can IDShield aid your social media cleanup efforts?

Protect your online data from potential breaches and digital thieves by equipping yourself with IDShield’s impressive privacy and reputation management services.

  • Reputation Manager: This tool takes a sophisticated technological approach, it analyzes your social media accounts to find posts, photos, or videos that may be harmful to your online persona. Instead of doing it manually, the tool presents results in a personalized dashboard, with simple, actionable steps to either approve or delete any flagged content.
  • Password Manager: Get multiple device protection and privacy for your digital life with our Password Manager service that manages and encrypts passwords. It finds and converts your weak passwords into unique, tough-to-hack passwords.
  • Cybersecurity and Device Protection: Protect your devices with Trend Micro’s VPN, malware protection, and parental controls.
  • Full-Service Restoration and Unlimited Consultation: If an identity theft event occurs, you get direct access to a Licensed Private Investigator who will work to help restore your identity to its pre-theft status. You can also talk to an identity theft specialist about any identity theft or online privacy concerns.

Get started with IDShield to clean up your social media and ensure you’re presenting yourself confidently online! Get in touch today!


IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) and provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. IDShield plans are available at individual or family rates. A family plan covers the named member, named member’s spouse or domestic partner and eligible dependent children. Consultation and restoration services are available for eligible dependent children ages 18 to 26 who permanently reside in the same residence as the named member. All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. An Identity Fraud Protection Plan (“Plan”) is issued through a nationally recognized carrier. PPLSI is not an insurance carrier. This covers certain fraud expenses and legal costs as a result of a covered identity fraud event. See a Plan for complete terms, coverage, conditions, limitations, and family members who are eligible under the Plan.


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