Posting information online can be a gift that keeps on giving.
According to a recent survey from Internet security leader, Trend Micro, only 38% of people know how to limit what they post online and, as a result, run the risk of leaving a trail easy for cyber thieves to follow.
“Most of us are far too free and trusting with our personal information online,” according to Mark Nunnikhoven, Trend Micro’s Vice President of Cloud and Emerging Technologies. “We don’t realize how quickly little bits add together to form a startlingly accurate picture of our personal lives. This unintentional disclosure of personal data can have very real consequences, making the work of criminals much easier.”
To ensure social media users do not “gift” their personal information to cyber crooks this holiday season, Trend Micro offers 10 top tips to help avoid a digital disaster:
1. What goes online stays online. Only post updates or photos you won’t mind sharing with strangers.
2. Keep tabs on all your tags and mentions. Getting tagged in a post might seem harmless, but it can also decrease your privacy.
3. Make sure only your intended audience sees your posts. If your friends have less restrictive settings, it’s possible for a wider audience to see your posts.
4. Never click on a link posted or sent by someone you don’t know
5. Use a two-factor authentication for Facebook as well as any other social media account you have and activate any other security measures you have access to.
6. Check privacy policies and adjust settings to your comfort level. Most sites keep their privacy policies in locations that are easy to find. It’s important to keep track of them because they can change anytime.
7. Double-check your security. You can use privacy scanning software to check current privacy settings in different social networks to ensure your information remains private.
8. Report and block spammers. This can help sanitize your feed as well as notify a social media site to take down the spammers’ accounts.
9. Always verify with your contacts any link they send your way, preferably through another form of correspondence.
10. Be careful whom you accept as a friend on social networks. Identity thieves can and do create fake profiles in order to steal your personal information.
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