In the social media age we can share our lives with friends and family, brands we love, industry leaders, and even celebrities near and far. But social networks make it easy for criminals to find out information about you and even infect your computer with viruses.
- Think before you post - what you say matters
- Think before you click - approve requests with caution
- Configure your security preferences and check them periodically
Think before you post
You may not realize what you’re about to post could be useful to criminals and harmful to you. Always consider what you are about to post:
- Could the information you’re sharing help a criminal answer security questions or guess a password? Information about family members, pets, jobs, etc. could give a malicious person a good idea of potential answers to account security questions or passwords to try to guess.
- Could someone use the information to pretend to be you/know you? Criminals may want intimate details about you to try social engineering against your friends, friends, or colleagues.
- Could they use it to know when you are away from your home or office? Posting your whereabouts tells criminals you are not home and they can break into your home without risking you being there.
- Could they use it to hurt your reputation? Posts shared with a selective audience can be re-shared, without you knowing, through screenshots or cell phone pictures of the post. If you don’t want information to become publicly available, don’t post it to begin with.
Think before you click
Social media is a great way for criminals to spread phishing attempts and malware. Think before you accept friend requests or requests for access from apps.
- Not all messages (such as chats, tweets, or posts) from your friends are real. Use the same warning signs you would for identifying email phishing attempts to avoid possible scams and threats.
- Err on the side of caution when approving app requests to access your account. Most social media viruses can’t infect you unless you give them access first.
- Keep your computer software and antivirus up-to-date in case you do click on something that ends up to be malware.
- Only accept requests from people you know and trust. Criminals can easily create fake accounts to use to find out information about you. Even small details can help criminals using social engineering.
Check your settings
Social media sites usually offer a number of privacy and security settings you can configure to your level of comfort. Be familiar with the options and check them periodically as security options can change.