January 2016 - Dos and Don’ts for Social Media

Information SecurityEveryone uses social media today – including me. Although social media posts are a tool we have come to rely on for all kinds of news, using social media makes its users prime targets for scams and identity theft.

Studies reveal that men are guiltier of neglecting their privacy on social media networks than women. I recently saw an infographic that showed 48% of men take time to adjust their social media privacy settings, compared with 67% of women. Younger people, however, are more likely to use privacy settings than adults. Unless you tighten your privacy settings, your information is accessible by everyone, and ‘everyone’ includes hackers and criminals.

Hackers and criminals are very good at piecing together little bits of seemingly innocent information until they garner enough to exploit your personal data. To avoid becoming a victim, here are some dos to put in place.

  • Do restrict access to what you post by adjusting your privacy settings so your posts go only to friends and not the entire Internet and keep up with changes to privacy settings, adjusting accordingly.

  • Do post about your vacation after you return from the trip and use the ‘checkin’ and event attendance options wisely.

  • Do use a different password for each social media site.

  • Do choose security questions carefully. If possible, create your own questions. Answers to standard security questions, such as the grammar school attended, can often be found within your profile.

  • Do post only material you would like to see on the front page of a local newspaper.

  • Do avoid games and quizzes; they are thirdparty apps with their own privacy policies, which don’t necessarily match the privacy settings on your social media page.

  • Do think of others before tagging or sharing information about them. “Do unto others as you would like done unto you.”

And here are a couple of don’ts:

  • Don’t click on links that are unusual or suspicious.

  • Don’t post information that can lead hackers to passwords for your other accounts, i.e., your mother’s maiden name or your favorite pet.

Happy posting!

As published in the January 2016 issue of the "Clinton Township Newsletter."
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