Social Networking Safety

Social Networking websites have become an important part of modern life.  Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat give users the opportunity to share photos, videos, and messages with people all over the world.  Due to this, social networking safety is a concern,

As these websites gain in popularity, the risks of using them increase as well.  Criminals, spammers, identity thieves, hackers, and virus writers prowl around the social networks looking for opportunities that they can exploit.  Here are a few tips to help you enjoy social networking safety:

Links – Treat all links that you get in messages from friends just like you do in your email.  If it doesn’t look familiar, or it is an unwanted offer, don’t click it.

Know what information about you is online – Hackers like to click the “Forgot your password?” link and then search for security question answers to figure out your passwords.  It’s pretty easy to find your birthday, address, high school, etc. online.  Do a quick search of your name to see what comes up.

Beware – Don’t simply trust that messages are always from your friends.  If you suspect that something’s not right, don’t open it.  Hackers are able to send you messages that look like they are from your friends.

Address book – Don’t give social networks access to your address book.  They may then send emails to all of your contacts, which you probably don’t want.  Your friends will appreciate this one.

Friends – Be careful about who you add as a friend on social media.  Fake profiles could be identity thieves trying to get information from you.

Privacy Policy – Before joining a social network, review the privacy policy.  You don’t want your personal information to be easily accessed by others.

Forever – Treat every post you make as if it were permanent.  Even if you delete your account, your posts are still on your friends’ pages and don’t go away.

Don’t use Social Media at work – Using these sites at work opens up a whole new window of opportunity for others to access your data.  It can wait.

Monitor – All parents should monitor their children’s use of social networks.  Regularly review their messages and friends.  Explain to them the dangers and consequences before they do anything stupid.  Be involved.

While we all love being connected to friends on our social networks, there are some risks involved.  Follow these tips to make sure that you and your family enjoy social networking responsibly.


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