Monday 25 August, 2014

How Secure Is Social Networking? – Tips on Staying Safe

Most people don’t think about internet security when they’re using social networking, but they should. Anything that’s popular online is bound to get targeted by hackers. Just consider for a moment that Facebook has around a billion users. There are hackers chomping at the bit to gain access to that data.

It’s not hard to stay safe with social networking. Here are some tips to help you use it safely.

So-Called Friends

Many social media users unquestionably accept requests from people even if they’re not sure who they are. This is not a good idea. Watch out for friend requests from people you don’t know. If you share mutual contacts with them, this is a good sign. But you should always look at their profile to make sure they’re legitimate.

Funny Links and Downloads

You should exercise the same caution with links and downloads as you do in email. There are phishing scams on social media where someone sends you a link that installs malware on your computer once clicked. Even if it’s from a close friend, their account may have been compromised. An easy way to stay safe is to log out of your social media account and find the site directly on a web browser.

Third Party Apps

Exercise caution with third party apps. Some third party apps request access to your social media profile. This allows the app to access the social media platform, making it more fun and interactive for you. But if the app isn’t safe or legit, this could lead to problems. Research apps well before installing them. Know who the developer is, read reviews, and only install apps through licensed stores.

Post Safely

Be careful what information you post about yourself. You always run the risk of posting something sensitive, inappropriate or embarrassing. Even if your profile is kept private, this data is out there on the internet somewhere. If your account is hacked, this information could fall into the wrong hands. If your company uses a shared account, set clear guidelines about what information is okay and not okay to post.

Check Privacy Settings

Check your privacy settings and make sure that only the people you’ve allowed access to can see your profile. If you’re using social media for your business, this may not be an issue because you want as many fans and followers as possible. But set permissions for tagging and use other settings to keep control.

Exercise Good Password Protection

Make sure that you’re using a strong password and change it often. This is your first line of defense against someone else gaining access to your account. Don’t leave your computer while it’s logged in to social media. Restrict access to your company social media profiles to only those who need it, and delete their admin status and change passwords when a person no longer needs this access.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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