Social media platforms have become an integral part of online lives. Social networks are a great way to stay connected with others, but you should be wary about how much personal information you post.
Have your family, friends and community follow these tips to safely enjoy social media.
- Check your settings: Every time you sign up for a new social media account or download a new app, immediately configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Regularly check these settings to make sure they are still configured to your comfort.
- Share with care: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data or commit other crimes such as stalking.
- Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. Recent research found that 70 percent of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.
- Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages. If you’re trying to create a public persona as a blogger or expert, create an open profile or a “fan” page that encourages broad participation and limits personal information. Use your personal profile to keep your real friends (the ones you know and trust) up to date with your daily life.
- Know what action to take: If someone is bullying, harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them and report them to the site administrator.
- Enable multi-factor authentication: Use 2-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication (like biometrics, security keys or a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device) whenever offered.
- Use long, unique passphrases: Length trumps complexity. A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember.
- Think before you click: Links in tweets, texts, posts, and social media messages are the easiest way for cyber criminals to get your sensitive information. Be wary of clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you were not expecting.