The Cyber Bureau of Nepal Police has cautioned social media users against the traps set by online scammers for the purpose of hacking their accounts to serve their personal interests such as blackmailing, cheating, and extortion.

Issuing a public notice today, the bureau warned that the incidents of hacking and having unauthorised access to social media accounts were on the rise in the recent times. "The social media users are advised not to respond to phishing emails, as the scammers are likely to extract the password of account by sending a link. Never click on a suspicious link sent by strangers," the bureau suggested. Phishing scammer usually try to access other's accounts through a suspicious message or link that asks for personal details, including password and bank account.

The bureau has also appealed to all social media users not to use the same password for a long time. "The users should not create and use a password that can be easily guessed by others and avoid disclosing the personal details to anyone. People should not accept friend requests from unknown persons as they could cheat gullible persons from home and abroad, it said.

Likewise, the bureau has suggested the social media users that they should set up multi-factor authentication on their account to prevent the likelihood of hacking.

This is a security feature offered by many websites and applications for the improvement of account security.

It is a process whereby multiple technologies are used to authenticate the user's identity. In contrast, single factor authentication uses only one technology to prove the user's authenticity.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.