Social media allows us to share stories and photos, connect with friends and families and keep up with the news. But how much sharing is too much and does this much sharing put you at personal risk?
Follow these 6 tips to make sure you are being safe on social media.
Don’t Share Too Much Information (TMI)
As the saying goes, “What happens in Vegas, should stay in Vegas.” No one on the Internet wants (or needs) to know every last detail of your life. Somethings are better left unsaid. Only share information you would be comfortable sharing with a stranger, because you never know who is looking at you online. You should never post your social security number, birth date, home address or personal phone number on social media. If you put all of your personal information online, it becomes easier for someone to steal your identity, impersonate you or potentially stalk you. Again, be careful of how much information you are sharing online and with whom you are sharing it.
Take Control of Your Privacy Settings
You can’t assume anyone is looking out for you except yourself. When you sign up for a social media account, maximum security is not the default. You have to manually check your settings and change them to your preference. New settings are added often and old ones are deleted, so make sure you are checking your settings frequently to ensure nothing is being shared without your permission.
Only Add and Connect with People You Know
Don’t add someone to your social network just because you have a few mutual friends. You should only add people you genuinely know in order to protect yourself. If a friend request from someone seems fishy, more than likely it is.
Also, be aware of adding someone you know, more than once. Someone could be trying to impersonate them to get information from you and your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to call or email your friend if they try to add you, but their profile seems off.
Every once in awhile, take a few minutes to Google yourself. Doing so allows you to see what everyone else can see about you. This is also helpful to see if anyone is trying to use your information to impersonate you, or if they are using your photos and posing as you under a different name. Other social media service sites allow you to type in your name and it shows you everywhere that name is being used on the Internet.
Check your Workplace Social Network Policies and Procedures
So you just closed a big deal at work. The first thing you want to do is share the good news with your family and friends on social media. But does your company allow that? Some companies have confidentiality policies and procedures and sharing information about clients and projects is not permitted. Talking bad about a company, its employees, clients or contractors on social media may be grounds for termination. Also, be aware that using social media on company time might be a violation of company policy.
Learn How Sites Can Use Your Information
Know all of those “I agree to the terms above” check boxes? Does anyone really read those? Well, you probably should start. Learning how a company can legally use your information may help you understand what to post and what to keep private. Some companies can sell your information to other companies, and you are letting it happen by agreeing to their terms and conditions. Many companies have it written into their agreements that if you post a photo on their site, they own the rights to that photo and call sell it to any advertiser or marketer.
So next time you post pictures or want to share your personal information online, know where that information is going and who is looking at it. The person looking at your information could be your next employer or a stranger on the street looking to make a quick buck.
SACS Consulting is Here to Help Navigate the Social Waters
Need help understanding how to stay safe online? SACS Consulting and Investigative Services offers Social Media Security Training for you and your company. Give us a call today at 330-255-1101 and learn what it means to be safe online.