Social Network Safety
Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are increasingly popular methods of communications both personally and in business. They are great ways to connect with friends, family, customers and people in your industry. By following a few simple safety tips you can take advantage of these opportunities without someone taking advantage of you.
- Treat links with caution, even those that appear to be sent by a friend, customer or trusted company.
- If a message from a trusted source is suspicious (e.g. asking for personal information or a friend for financial help) find another method to contact the sender to verify its authenticity.
- Beware of "add-ons" and only download from sites the social site recommends or are reputable.
- Do not share information online that you would not want publicly available permanently.
- Do a social audit on yourself or your company. Conduct searches in major search engines to see what is being said and take action if needed to correct errors.
- Businesses should have a social media policy in place for employees and limit those that can post on the company's behalf.
- Social sites should be selected carefully ensuring an acceptable level of protection and privacy.
- Use anti-virus and anti-malware software and regularly install security updates for your browser and operating security system.
- Educate children about how to protect themselves online as well as monitoring, setting rules and using filters where possible.
- Use strong passwords and don't share them with anyone.
- Do not update any statuses or tweet the dates that you are going on vacation or away from home, you may compromise your physical security.
- Geolocation apps such as Foursquare share your exact location which also lets criminals know that you aren't home, so reconsider broadcasting that information.
If you suspect your social network account has been compromised immediately change your passwords and any accounts that share the e-mail address associated with the account or its password. Report it to the social site and check for any additional information about what to do to regain control of your account.
If you believe your computer has been infected make sure all your anti-virus and anti-malware is up to date and run a scan. Be sure to check any accounts you access online regularly for signs of fraud and report it immediately should you notice anything suspicious.