As technology continues to dominate communication, the use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube and Twitter are on the rise. But use with caution, as cyber criminals are recognizing the value and vulnerabilities of these types of sites.
To avoid becoming a victim of a cyber criminal when on social media sites, take a moment to review the list below of 10 essential tips to help keep you safe. Even the most computer savvy person will likely learn something new.
10 Tips to Stay Safe on Social Media
1. Think before you click. Treat links from “friends” and “non-friends” on social networking sites with the same caution you would a message you receive via email. As with an email, a message that appears to come from a friend may actually be sent by a hacker.
2. Be careful about personal information you post. A common way hackers break into accounts is by clicking on “Forgot your Password?” on the log in page. Don’t make it easy for the hacker by sharing personal information about your mother’s maiden name, your birthday or where you were born on your social media sites. Also, don’t post information that makes you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule, routine or holiday plans. You wouldn’t put a note on your front door stating, “Away for the weekend… Returning on Monday,” would you?
3. Type the address of your social media site right into your browser or use personal bookmarks. If you click to a site though an email or website, you run the risk of entering your account name and password into a fake site that will steal your personal information.
4. Be selective about who you accept as a friend on social media. Identity thieves can and do create fake profiles with the goal being to get information from you.
5. Learn about and use the privacy and security settings. The default settings for some sites may allow anyone to see your profile. You can, however, often customize your settings to restrict access to only certain people.
6. Use strong passwords. Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed using long and complex passwords with capital and small letters, numbers and symbols. And never use the same password for all accounts. At minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your most critical accounts, e.g., those with banking account and credit card information, have the strongest passwords.
7. Assume everything you put on a social media site is permanent. Even if you delete it, someone may have already printed a photo or downloaded a picture or video you posted to their computer.
8. Don’t let social networking services scan your email address book. You run the risk that they will send an email to all your contacts.
9. Avoid going onto your social media sites when at work. Several recent reports have claimed that this is infecting workplace networks, which can have serious consequences, i.e., financial, corporate reputation, etc., to your organization.
10. Talk to your kids about social networking. If you are a parent, your kids are almost surely currently on social media sites or will be soon. Help ensure this is a fun yet safe activity for by talking to them openly and regularly about the risks.
To help prevent your organization from becoming the victim of a scam, consider our online IT SECURITY PROGRAM FOR EMPLOYEES. This course is ideal for current employees and as part of an on-boarding for new employees.
Take action NOW before your organization becomes the next victim. As most breaches are caused by employees innocently clicking on a malicious link, ensuring your staff are informed and educated is your best defense!
To view a quick DEMO of this course, click here.
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