Six ways to stay safe on social media
Online social networking has made talking to strangers the norm, so it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your personal information. Here are some top tips for keeping your private information safe while using social networking sites.
- Keep it to yourself. The more you post about your identity, location and other personal details, the easier it is for hackers and identity thieves to access your personal information. When updating your status, avoid tempting thieves by not mentioning when you’ll be away from home.
- Remember that what you post lasts forever. Whether it’s backed up on a site’s server or saved by someone else, your words and pictures could appear again someday, and sometimes in an altered state, even if you have deleted them from your own view.
- Always read the fine print. Find out how to control who has access to your information and who sees your posts by reading each site’s privacy and security policies.
- Lock down your hardware. Protect your computers and mobile devices with up-to-date security software, firewalls, antivirus and spyware programs. Use different passwords for each site you belong to and make them difficult to guess, but don’t keep lists of your user names and passwords in easy reach.
- Know who your friends are. Be selective when accepting friends, following people or groups. Don’t forget you can report and block individuals or let them know when you’re uncomfortable with anything they post about you, and respect their privacy in return.
- Think before you click. Don’t follow a link if it looks suspicious or comes from someone you don’t know. Beware of emails containing links that could collect your personal information or launch viruses.