3 Jun 2021

Tips to stay safe on social media

social media
With so many people using social media today, sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn etc have changed the way people use the Internet; allowing you to meet, interact, and share with people around the world. With all this comes risks to you, your family, friends etc and these sites make perfect targets for scams. How can you stay safe online?


Don't overshare personal information such as your phone number or home address. Avoid posting photos of your home that make it easy to identify where you live, Criminals search social networks to find empty houses to break in.

A common way hackers break into financial or other accounts is by clicking the “Forgot password?” link on the account login page, then to break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday, home town, pet name etc. on your social networking site. If the site allows make up your own password questions.


Use a unique, strong password which is not easy to guess and do not share your password with others. The longer the password/passphrase, the more secure it will be. A passphrase is a password made up of multiple words, making it easy for you to type and remember, but hard for hackers/cyber attackers to guess. Read more about how to create a strong password. Use a different password for each of your social media accounts. You can read more on how to secure your passwords. If you access your account on a public or shared computer always remember to logout.


Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in e-mail messages. These may be links to viruses or other forms of malicious content. You should enter the address of your social networking site directly into your browser. If you click a link to your site through e-mail or another website, you might be directed to a fake/phishing site where your personal information could be stolen.


Keep your posts private. On most social networking sites, you can choose to only share things with your friends. It's important to use this setting whenever possible because it makes it more difficult for people you don't know to gain access to your information. Anything you post will most likely become public at some point, impacting your reputation and future, for instance jobs you can get or schools you can go to. If you don’t want your family or boss to see it, you probably shouldn’t post it. Using good netiquette helps to ensure that the things you say aren't misinterpreted. Netiquette is a set of guidelines for communicating online.


Don’t blindly accept every friend or follower request you get – only connect with people you know in real life or whose identity you know is genuine. Some people like Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.


Secure all your accounts by enabling two-factor authentication. This will add a one-time code with your password when you need to log in to your account.

Follow these tips to enjoy a much safer online experience. To learn more on how to use social media sites safely, or report unauthorized activity, check your social media site’s security page.

You can also check on tips for safer online shopping.

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