Keep your personal data from falling into the wrong hands by practicing these eight social media safety tips:
- Check Your Privacy Settings
One of the first places to start when it comes to protecting your identity on social media is to update your privacy settings. This includes having strict control over who can see your posts (tweets, snaps, etc.), who can contact you etc.
- Create Strong Passwords
You’ve heard this many times before, and for a good reason. Weak passwords make it extremely easy for cybercriminals to steal your personal data or identity – and they’re only getting better at it. See An Easy Way to Create – And Remember – Strong Passwords For All Your Accounts for advice on how to create an ironclad password.
- Close Accounts You No Longer Need or Use
While you may have installed Snapchat or Twitter with the intention of “giving it a try,” your personal data now sits unmonitored on an unused account – a gateway for identity theft and inadvertent data sharing.
- Be Familiar With Friends
Of course, there are cases where you might want to connect with people you don’t actually “know,” (when seeking out business connections on LinkedIn, for example). But when it comes to more “personal” platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, avoid accepting requests from anyone you aren’t familiar with.
- Remove Identifying Information
Cybercriminals are extremely savvy when it comes to guessing (and exploiting) personal information. For instance, domain names associated with work email addresses are a prime target for phishing attacks. Other examples include having your phone number on Facebook or sharing information regarding your location, as these can pose physical security threats.
- Be Click-Bait Cautious
Contests, quizzes, “free” promotions are all examples of potential clickbait. While that’s not to say all clickbait is bad, it does provide an open doorway for cybercriminals. Often, these attention-grabbing gimmicks will see you re-directed to an unsecured site, making your personal data easily accessible (and you a prime target for identity theft).
- Stop Social Media Sign-Ins
Of course, it’s much easier to “Log in With Facebook” or “Sign In With Twitter” than it is to create an entirely separate account. However, this may (once again) force you to share your data with potentially unsecured sites, so opt for a separate account and login instead.
- Keep Your Security Software Up to Date
Keep in mind, your device is your last line of defence against cyber attacks, identity theft and stolen personal data. Be sure to keep your systems up to date with the latest antivirus software or apps to ensure your personal information stays where it belongs: with you.
BONUS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS: Establish a Social Media Policy
Protect your business by creating a clear set of guidelines around social media in the workplace (for both personal and professional use). This should include educating your employees on how to identify social media risks and what to do in the event of a cybersecurity threat.