Social media is a great way to stay connected and informed. However, it must be used responsibly to ensure that you, your family and your company remain safe. Below are our top ten tips!
1. Location settings
Your phone may automatically include your location in posts for networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Double check your privacy settings on your mobile device to be sure your location settings are OFF. Your 1,276 friends do not need to know exactly what city you’re in or which road you’re turning onto.
2. Travel Plans
Announcing travel plans on social media is basically giving the bad guys an all clear to rob your home. “But my privacy settings are locked down!” you may say. What if you’re friends with a friends’ son or daughter who decides to get in a little trouble that weekend? You also have no control over whether someone screenshots your page or not and sends that information along. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Go on your vacation worry free and don’t announce all the details over social media.
3. Personal Info
Your date of birth, address, phone number, etc. are not pieces of information that need to be broadcasted over Facebook, Twitter, or any other networking site. Only your close family and friends need to know these things and chances are they already do. Remember, the internet is public, no matter how good you think your privacy settings are. Do not give malicious hackers the chance to swipe personal information.
Catfishing occurs when a cyber stranger reaches out to someone claiming to be a friend, a love interest or anyone that they are not. If you receive a friend request from someone you do not know, think twice before friending them. Even if they message you. If you have never met the person and have no way of verifying that they are who they say they are, ignore the person (and report them, if necessary). Giving someone you do not know access to your social network is dangerous.
Be cautious of apps that that request access to your social networking sites upon download. Chances are an app does not need to have access to your timeline, friends, or any other personal information. If you get such a request, do not accept those terms. Just delete the app.
6. Suspicious links
Be aware that some of your friends’ accounts may be hacked. If you receive a message from a friend that contains an odd link and a message such as, “See how I lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks!” chances are you’re being scammed. Be smarter than that, don’t click on it.
Never forget the internet is a public forum. Once you post photos of your children online, they are up for all to see and share. Be vigilant about what you post and what information you are giving people about your children, family members and yourself. You never know who may be watching. Also, photos from mobile phones come with geotags, unless the location setting is turned off. Geotags can pinpoint where the photo was taken, down to which room of the house it was taken in. Guard your family. Turn off geotags and filter what photos are you share.
Keep your password strong and change it often, especially if you think your account may have been compromised. And don’t use the same password for multiple social networking accounts.
9. Posts and content
Always remember that you are accountable for what you post. Posts that reflect poorly on your company reflect poorly on you. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it to the internet.
10. Security settings
Take advantage of the security settings made available to you through any networking site. Don’t make your profiles public if you can help it. Remember, you are the only gatekeeper between a bad guy and your personal information.