Social Media Safety Tips: Ways To Keep Your Social Media Account Safe

Do you share your information online with people you are not familiar with? Sharing personal information on social media might resemble a personal conversation among friends, family, and coworkers. That's why it's so widely used and accessible when making connections. Cyber criminals, unfortunately, utilize social media to obtain personal information that they can exploit to steal identities, compromise profiles, or send highly targeted phishing emails.

 

1. Are you sharing too much?


When you share something on the internet, you relinquish control over how it can be utilized. After all, it's visible to anyone. Assume you're dining with friends or family in a restaurant. Maybe you're talking about an upcoming birthday, your vacation plans, or some interesting work news. Consider the possibility that a thief has been sitting at the table across from you the entire time, capturing every seemingly inconsequential comment. Is it possible that you've disclosed information that could be harmful to you or your company?

Cyber criminals frequently comb through social media profiles, stringing information together to target individuals and businesses. They also employ seemingly innocent quizzes or questionnaires to gather data without raising concerns.

 

Tip: No matter how many of your contacts have posted or tagged you in a quiz or poll, resist the urge to participate.

 

2. Check before you connect


Accepting a friend request from a scammer puts your personal information at danger. Your other connections may mistakenly believe the connection is someone you can trust, putting their data at risk as well. It's best not to accept a friend request until you're sure you know and trust the individual.

Scammers may attempt to interact with you by creating phony profiles that impersonate individuals you know. It could be a fraud if you receive a request from someone you're already connected to. Always double-check duplicate requests using your current connection. If someone's behavior appears suspect, remove them from your network right away.

 

Tip: If a stranger asks to connect

  • Think about why they want to connect with you. Do you know each other or belong to the same professional groups?
  • Request information from common acquaintances or conduct an online search to verify the person's identity.

 

3. What if my account is exposed?


Act quickly to reduce the risks to you, your connections, and your business. Change your password immediately and check other account settings for unexpected changes. Notify your social network provider and all connections using another communication method, such as email.

 

4. Next steps in protecting your data


  1. Initiate boundariesLimit the amount of information you share with your network. Before sharing information, make sure you know and trust the connection.

     

  2. Safeguard your login credentialsUse a strong authentication method for each account. If you need security questions on social networks, consider using fake answers that don't match what you posted. Fraudsters can easily find mother's maiden name, school, pet, and childhood friend's name.

     

  3. Use privacy controlsCheck your privacy settings and update permissions regularly. However, be aware of their limits. Scammers can circumvent these controls and may unknowingly share your information or provide access.

     

  4. Be careful with third-party appsWhen you log in to an app using your social media account credentials, that app now has limited access to your information and connections. Please check and confirm the third party app carefully. Reducing the number of apps you use can also help mitigate your risk.

 

 

TIPS FOR FAMILY AND COWORKERS

  1. Think before you share – Could sharing this comment, photo, or link potentially harm you personally or professionally, either today or in the future?

  2. Privacy settings aren’t foolproof – You may intend to only share your thoughts with a small circle of online friends and followers, but they can have an impact far beyond. If you wouldn’t say it to or share it with a stranger, it probably shouldn’t be posted on social media.

  3. Watch out for imposters – Accepting a stranger’s connection request can give cyber criminals access to your profile. Scammers might also create fake profiles to impersonate people familiar to you.

 

Social Media Awareness Kit

 

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