With wireless smartphone networks improving daily and keeping people connected nearly everywhere they go, it is no wonder why social media networks have continued to gain popularity over the years, with new networks popping up all the time. While many people check their social networks at any extra second they have, the constant updates can also pose a risk to users due to the wealth of personal information that is visible to the general public.
Due to the public nature of these social networks, there will always be risks, however you can limit the amount of personal information that is available to the public.
- Know Who Your Friends Are. With many social media sites, it is easy to add people as friends or connections, even if you don’t know each other or have never met. One of the number one rules of social media is to only connect with those people that you actually know. Random connections can be people posing as friends but are really just trying to gather personal information. Remember, it’s okay to not accept everyone who requests to be a connection1.
- Protect Your Online Reputation. While many people post items on social networks with the thought only their friends will be able to see it, that thinking could lead to a damaged social reputation. Many employers are now searching and checking social networks to see what employees are posting, which could affect whether or not you get that job you have been wanting1. Even with the strictest of privacy settings in place, it is still possible for people to see some of the items you post, so make sure the items you put out there are things you don’t mind anyone seeing.
- Limit Amount of Personal Some personal information items that shouldn’t be posted on social media sites are self-explanatory such as your social security number or credit/debit card numbers. However, posting you full birthdate, home address and phone number can be just as damaging2. With this information, fraudsters have the ability to potentially steal your digital identity and threaten your financial wellness.
- Be Aware of Links. One of the most potentially dangerous threats on social media sites are malicious links designed to get you to click on them. These links often look harmless, but when clicked, activate malware designed to steal information. Now more than ever, spammers have taken to hacking individual social media accounts and sending messages to their connections with malicious links embedded. Remember, even if you know the source of the link, if something looks suspicious, don’t open it, simply delete it1.
As part of InfoArmor’s PrivacyArmor, you can have access to SocialArmor® which helps to monitor your social reputation on social media sites and will alert you if any potentially damaging items arise. For more information, visit MyPrivacyArmor.com.