Staying Safe when Using Social Networks

Social Media Web Signs

Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks can be a great way to stay in touch with loved ones, post photos, and get to know what’s happening both online and world. But it’s also important to think about your safety and privacy. Here are some tips for keep yourself safe when using social networks.

Think about the Information You Share on Your Profile
Sharing photos, videos, and links online are all great ways of using social networks. Avoid posting your address, phone number, or any sort of personal information can be used for identity fraud. Be careful of the information that may be garnered from photos – are you in a picture with your licence plate showing? Are you in front of your home with a clear address? Be mindful of the content you are posting.

Checking your Privacy Settings
Many social network sites, including Facebook, have default settings enable non-friends to see all the information you post on your profile. Make sure to customize your settings to a level of privacy that you are comfortable with. Many people choose to only let friends see their profile.
And remember – privacy settings on Facebook change, so know what you’re signing up to. If you can, it’s good to keep on top of Facebook’s privacy policy which can be found here:

Only “Friend” People You Know Personally
Many fake profiles exist on social media networks aimed at scamming or selling unneeded products to users. Prevent this by only friending people you know.
Some social networks like Twitter are based on “following” individuals, and this will mean that often, you will not personally know the individual, as users may follow celebrities, politicians, or public figures. This is fine. Twitter will usually post a warning along with a link if they deem it to be a risky website.

If a Friend Sends you Something Unusual, It Might be a Virus
Even our friends can send us viruses! If a friend is hacked, they might not even be aware of what their account is being used for. If you get a message with unusual language from a friend, or attempts at selling you a product, it could very well be a hacker or virus.

Change Your Password Regularly
Changing Your Password on a regular basis can help make sure your account isn’t hacked. Choosing words with both uppercase and lowercase and numbers can make your password more secure than a simple lowercase password alone.

Social Networks can be a great tool for communicating with friends and family. It can keep us informed about what’s going on in the world. It’s important for us to be mindful of what we’re posting to help keep us safe online.