You may be on the lookout for phishing and other illegal scams in your inbox, but email isn’t the only place that targets people these days. Social media, a place where many people spend a lot of time, can also pose dangers to users who aren’t on their guard. These tips for social media safety will explain what you need to watch out for – and how to manage it.
TIP #1: Don’t overshare
Sharing thoughts, activities and slices of life are great. But sharing too much information can threaten your personal safety. When it comes to social media safety, avoid posting the following things:
- Date and place of birth
- Home address
- Dates and locations of vacations and trips (or anything that declares “my house is empty and unguarded.”)
- Financial info such as banking account, credit cards you use, images of bonus checks, etc.
TIP #2: Use strong passwords
Security for social media is as important as security for logging into your bank account. Using strong passwords will deter hackers from gaining access to your social media accounts and therefore personal information that can be used against you. Click here to learn how to create strong passwords for social media.
TIP #3: Know who you’re connecting with
Social media has created a world where we can meet and become friends with people around the world without ever meeting them face-to-face. Unfortunately, not everyone is truthful when setting up their social media accounts and you can’t always trust that they are who they say they are. Always connect with people you know personally or through others you know and trust. Verify strangers who reach out before allowing them access to your personal posts.
TIP #4: Look at your account through a stranger’s eyes
What you see in your social media account is different from what everyone else sees. For a final check, log out of your social media account and Google it to find and look at it through the eyes of a random person. You can also ask a friend you’re connected with to let you see what it looks like from their perspective. This is a great way to know what others are able to view.
TIP #5: Use your privacy settings
All social media networks have default privacy settings, but don’t assume that they are enough. Check the settings for your account to modify who is allowed access to your account. Privacy settings can be adjusted at any time, but you must do it yourself. If you take the time to do Tip #4, you can see if there are privacy issues that need to be adjusted to protect your personal information.