We’ve been tweeted, linked, googled, faced, snapped, sent to the cloud and you’d on the tube. Social media is the way we connect with both loved ones and strangers. The problem arises with the strangers; some are stranger than others and up to no good while out trolling the social media sites. These stranger-than-strange folks are out to steal our info and use it for their own gain. Protect your social media accounts from strange eyes by keeping your exchanges and information secure with these tips.
Don’t offer TMI, too much information, on any online social media account. Keep the information benign and difficult to track down, such as the answers to security questions. Use the names of your first dog, cat or goldfish, not the name of your current softball team or the street you live on. Stalkers can take the smallest tidbit of information and begin to piece it together to discover where you live or work, or which school you attend.
Turn Off GPS
Do you really want everyone to know you’re at McDonalds or at the movie theater? The location-based GPS system integrated into social media sites send a clear signal to burglars that you’re not at home or that you are home, possibly alone. Turn off the GPS when you post to a site so no one will know where you are in that moment.
Log in Manually
We’ve heard this a thousand times, but it bears repeating – don’t click a link in an email to log into your account. It’s a ‘phishing’ scam and someone is trying to lure you into taking the bait by clicking the link and using your log-in information, which they will capture and use to hi-jack your account. Go to the desired online site and log in manually so your info won’t be as likely to be stolen. Change passwords often and make them difficult to decode by using both capitol and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Don’t ask for trouble by posting words or picture you may later regret. Apply the old adage: When in doubt, don’t, when posting anything on a social media site. Posting a drunken selfie picture or a scantily clad you as a teen can come back to haunt you when you’re looking for gainful employment years down the road. Taking a stand on a controversial subject in the social media arena can also cost you real life relationships and/or gainful employment.
Nothing is Private
Nothing is private and nothing is temporary in cyberspace. Once you have posted it or written it and hit the enter key, it’s out there forever. Somebody, somewhere at some point in time will be able to dredge up everything you’ve ever typed, copied and pasted or posted and it could be used against you. Keep yourself secure on social media sites by only posting things that you don’t mind the world knowing, because eventually, they will.