Staying Safe on Social Media
Social media offers people a great way to share information and discover new things, as well as stay connected with their friends and family scattered all over the world. However, as wonderful as social media is, it can offer an array of dangers as well, especially as the holiday season gets closer. Read these tips to ensure that you’re making the most out of technology while staying safe at the same time.
Beware of Identity Theft
One of the leading dangers presented by social media is the threat of identity theft. If you leave your personal information public on your social media accounts, thieves can use it to steal your identity and ruin your credit. The key to preventing this is to make sure that you have your privacy settings set as high as possible.
To that end, make sure that your profiles do not share information with anyone who you have not friended on the site, and make it a point not to accept friend requests from people you do not personally know and trust. If the wrong person sees personal details like your location, full name and phone number, they will be able to use this information to steal your identity.
As this is the season of giving, make it a point not to brag about the gifts you’ve received. Thieves know that Christmas is when people are receiving expensive gifts, so posting about them is like advertising for crooks. Be judicious about who and where you show off your new goodies to.
Another serious danger of social media is the risk of a hacked account. When they do this, they will have all the information at their fingertips to steal the user’s identity. Furthermore, someone who hacks into one of your social media accounts can use it to spread malware to your friends and hack into their accounts as well.
Come up with a strong password and do not use simple words or personal information like your address or birthday. It should be at least eight characters, contain an uppercase letter and at least one character that is not a number or a letter. Update your password every six months and use different passwords for each social media platform you’re on. This way, if one gets hacked, at least the hacker won’t be able to get into other restricted areas online, such as your email.
Be Careful of Revealing Your Location
With holiday vacations coming up, crooks will also be paying attention to people to post about being out of town. This tells them that their home is empty and vulnerable, giving them an easy target for a home robbery. It is tempting to tweet, take photos and post updates about your fantastic vacation but if a burglar stumbles across this information, it is like giving him an open invitation to your home and possessions. Save your vacation posts until after you’ve returned home. If you can’t resist, make sure that your status updates and photos are only visible to your friends.
Social media is great, but make sure it doesn’t hurt you. If you follow these safety tips, you will be able to keep your information safe on your social media accounts. It may seem like overkill, but it is better to be safe than sorry.