LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, WhatsApp, social networks have become an important part of lives. With over 2.3 billion active social media users they are a great way to stay connected, but here is why you should be cautious about how much personal information share.
Take a look at these tips to stay safe online:
Once you put information online it can stay there forever. Even if you delete the post or account, it’s possible to download or screenshot information before its deleted. Think twice before posting something you wouldn’t want your future employers to see. Research by Cross-tab Marketing Services, found that 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.
When applicable, change the privacy and security settings and only share information with your friends and family, if you’re writing a blog only share a level of information you are comfortable with. Privacy options are there to help keep your details safe.
Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more you share, the easier it may be for someone to use that information to steal your identity or access your data.
Making sure you have the latest updates, security software, web browser etc. this is the best defense against online threats. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
You get noticed online, so representing yourself in a positive way, i.e. contributing or writing a blog online is perfect if you want to catch the eye of a recruiter, recent research also found that recruiters respond to a strong, positive personal brand online. But again, keep your personal details private.
If a friend posts something about you that you’re unhappy with let them know. Likewise, if a friend asks you to remove something you’ve posted about them that makes them feel uncomfortable remove it and respect their privacy.
A good strong password is a sentence like ‘I love happy frogs’ Focus on phrases that are easy to remember, on some websites you can now use spaces, to make it even more cryptic use symbols in place of letters ‘I l0ve h@ppy fr0gs’ and make sure you use separate passwords for each site, keep the hackers guessing!
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is acting in a way that is inappropriate or threatening, block them and report them immediately.
Email links or attachments, or links in tweets and online adverts are some of the ways cybercriminals can steal your personal information. Often cybercriminals create email accounts that look like they have come from friends or family, so even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
These tips are not intended to be an exhaustive guide to potential cyber threats, is not tailored to individual needs and is not a replacement for specialist advice. Users should ensure they take appropriate specialist advice where necessary.