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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection The Resource Center | article

Social Media Security, Part 5: Tumblr

How can Tumblr users secure their accounts?Tumblr is a social media network with a focus on brevity. Billed as a “microblogging” platform, the service offers its users a space to create short text posts, along with photos, gifs and videos.

With 30-50 million active users, Tumblr has a wide variety of accounts. Some are quite personal, while others are based on more general themes. But while most accounts do not contain as much personal information as a Facebook account – and often contain much less – Tumblr profiles can still put their owners at risk for identity theft.

All online networks of a certain size suffer an attack sooner or later, and Tumblr is no exception. In 2013, for example, Derek Gottfrid, the company’s VP of Product, posted a short announcement on Tumblr’s official page apologizing for a major security issue that exposed user emails and passwords. Though Gottfrid did not go into much detail about the source of the issue, one user later discovered that the problem stemmed from Tumblr’s mobile apps. Those who used the apps to log in to their accounts were not doing so through a secure server.

Tumblr quickly issued an update to fix the problem. But even on the individual level, accounts can be vulnerable to a dedicated criminal if users are not doing their part to keep them secure. If you use Tumblr, here are some tips to prevent your account from serving as a back door to identity theft.

How to keep a secure Tumblr account

  • Turn on two-factor authentication: This is an easy and effective way to keep someone else from logging into your account, even if they know your password. You can activate this by going into your account settings. When turned on, your account will send a code to your mobile phone. If you do not enter the code along with your password, you will not be able to log in. In this way, everyone else who does not have your phone is locked out.
  • Explore more restrictive privacy settings: Tumblr profiles are generally public, but they don’t have to be. You can create a private, password-protected blog for close friends and family if you choose. This will make it harder for strangers to see what you post on your account.
  • Turn on SSL: SSL creates an encrypted link between a browser and a web server. Enabling this service helps prevent hackers from spying on the web traffic that Tumblr users send and receive when they are signed into their accounts. This can be done by simply flipping a switch in the settings menu.
  • Be on the lookout for malicious applications: Sometimes, Tumblr users will connect various web applications to their accounts. While most of these are harmless, there is the possibility that hackers will design malicious apps to break into your account. The settings menu contains a section where you can revoke a particular app’s access to your account.
  • Monitor account activity: We all use so many devices to log into our social media accounts these days, including public computers. Tumblr users can access a setting that will send periodic emails regarding account activity. Anytime someone else logs in or changes your password, you’ll know about it. You can also view the number of active sessions and remotely log out if you feel the need.
  • Practice strong password techniques: As always, be sure to secure your Tumblr account with a strong password that uses a mix of capital and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols.

Any time you log into a social network, it is important to think about how you are protecting your personal information. In addition to basic precautions, you should also consider tools that can help. An identity theft protection service like Identity Guard can monitor your credit files , Social Security Numbers and public records, and alert you to certain activity that may be indicative of fraud.