Social login is convenient. You just remember your Facebook or Google password and you’re all set. No need to create new logins for every site you visit, but is it really safe? Despite how easy it is to use, there are a few risks you should be aware of when opting for social login.
Social Login Risks to Consider
In 2016, 93% of people preferred social login over email registration. Facebook and Google were by far the most popular options. Now, consider this from a hacker’s perspective. Instead of needing to try to hack numerous websites, all they have to do is hack either your Facebook or Google account.
Suddenly, they not only have your master login, but a list of all the sites connected to that login. Yes, your social network account lists the sites connected to it. For hackers, this is like the ultimate all-you-can-eat buffet of personal data.
As sites like LinkedIn and Twitter have proven, major social networks can be hacked. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg even had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked because he used the same password on LinkedIn, which was stolen during a major breach.
Even if you use the strongest password possible for your social login, your account could still be compromised. SocialMediaToday’s infographic on the various ways hackers get into Facebook accounts is both eye-opening and horrifying. Phishing scams, keyloggers from malware, and hacked browsers are some of the top methods.
The lesson is social login isn’t without risk. It’s easier to use, but if your social media credentials are ever stolen, every single site you’ve used them on is compromised as well. While you probably don’t care on some sites, you wouldn’t want a hacker to get your Facebook login only to realize you use social login on banking and shopping sites.
Another risk is you don’t really know how a site is using the data they’re pulling from your social profile. Marketers want to collect as much information as possible and your Facebook profile is full of personal details, even down to your favorite movies and food. When sites don’t disclose how they use and store your data, it’s a risk.
Unique Passwords Make a Difference
No one likes to remember numerous passwords. In fact, security fatigue is a real issue that many people are facing. However, it’s hard to deny that unique passwords are beneficial. So, your Facebook account was hacked, but at least you won’t have to change passwords on a dozen other sites as a result.
Whether you’re using social login to make life easier or just using the same password everywhere, you have to weigh the benefits versus the risks.
Remember All Your Various Passwords
Now the question is, how can you remember the dozens of passwords you need everyday? Two methods are storing passwords in your browser and using a password manager. For instance, most major browsers offer to remember your passwords for you or you can enable the feature within the Settings area if you’ve disabled it in the past.
Social login is useful, but consider limiting it to sites that aren’t going to compromise your identity if your social password is ever stolen.
Contribution by Crystal Crowder
About the Author
Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.