Navigating Threads: A Comprehensive Guide to Privacy, Verification, and Security

4 minute read

As the landscape of social media continues to evolve, new platforms emerge, each offering unique opportunities to connect and engage with audiences. The latest among these is Threads, a platform developed by Meta, the parent company of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Threads made an explosive debut earlier this month, surpassing 100 million users within its first five days of launch. This remarkable achievement marks it as the fastest any app has hit this milestone

The primary reason for this growth is that Threads offers users the convenience of importing their Instagram profiles directly into the app. However, those who are not on Instagram will need to create an account there to launch their Threads profile. As with any new social media platform, every brand owner needs to consider whether it is worth the time and effort to join in on the conversation, and the security implications that come with that conversation. Whether your organization has or hasn’t joined Threads yet, here are a few things to take into account.

The Benefits of Verification & Claiming Your Threads Profile

For brands considering Threads in the future, the first steps are to claim your profile and verify it, even if you intend to remain inactive for some time. By doing so, you can potentially reduce instances of spoofing, impersonations, and squatting, as well as accelerate the takedown process, should that become applicable in the future. The same advice applies to brand teams managing executive social media accounts, ensuring that your digital presence is secure and protected from misuse now and in the long run.

Similar to Instagram, Threads follows an algorithmic approach instead of a chronological timeline. Verified users receive enhanced visibility and priority on the platform, especially in search results. For those already verified on Instagram, this verification seamlessly carries over to Threads. If you have yet to be verified, you can easily request verification through Instagram by following a simple process:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Head to “Settings”, then tap “Business / Creator tools and controls”
  3. Select“ Request Verification”
  4. Complete the verification request form
  5. Tap “Submit”
  6. Your request for account verification will be sent to Instagram, and by proxy, Threads.

Security & Privacy Considerations

EU Approval and Privacy Concerns

As of now, Threads has not been approved for use in the European Union, which raises some questions over privacy concerns. In the app’s privacy description on the Apple App Store, Threads lists out the types of personal data that may be collected, including health and fitness information, financial data, contacts, browsing history, and location. As the platform evolves and expands its reach, it’s important for users to stay informed about their data privacy rights and protections.

Vigilance Against Fraud and Scams

With the introduction of any new social platform, security teams need to be vigilant about potential scams. This includes being cautious of unsolicited emails requesting password resets, phishing attempts seeking personal or organizational information, spoofed login pages, and customer/employee contests that may be fraudulent. It’s crucial to follow basic security training, verify emails with senders before taking any actions, avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments, and report any suspicious conduct to Meta.

No API Integration Yet

Currently, Meta has not released a Threads API or any options for accessing data programmatically, limiting integration possibilities. However, users can request takedowns under Instagram’s guidelines. It’s essential to note that requesting a Threads account takedown results in the deactivation of the connected Instagram account as well, as the two are intertwined at this time.

Opportunities of Early Adoption

Threads presents an exciting opportunity for users to engage with their audiences in new and innovative ways. As brands consider establishing a presence on the platform, claiming their profiles can help safeguard against potential misuse. Verification offers enhanced visibility, while privacy and security settings ensure account protection. However, users must also remain cautious about privacy concerns and potential scams. By staying informed and adopting best security practices, users can make the most of their Threads experience while safeguarding their digital presence.

What ZeroFox can do

Threads has quickly gained popularity, and holds great promise as a new social media platform. For individuals and brands considering joining Threads, a proactive approach to claiming and validating profiles, along with awareness of privacy and security considerations, is crucial to unlocking the platform’s full potential. By navigating Threads with vigilance and adopting best practices, users can enjoy an enriching experience while ensuring their digital safety.

ZeroFox offers an integrated social media security approach that caters to individuals and catches criminals in the crosshairs. Understanding the challenges faced by in-house Security Operations Centers (SOCs) dealing with social media attacks originating from outside the digital enterprise, we specialize in protecting brands and bottom lines. With a profound grasp of the Dark Web and hidden threat intelligence, our experts not only track down malicious behavior but also take down harmful accounts and negotiate on behalf of our clients. Our comprehensive external cybersecurity platform, the first of its kind, ensures that social media threats are quickly detected and promptly neutralized.

See ZeroFox in action