How to Protect Yourself on Social Networks
With the prevalence of mobile devices, more than ever, it’s easy for us to share our lives with the world. Social networking sites are some of the most popular websites and tools we use on the Internet. Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have hundreds of millions of users each.
Social networks are often built on the idea of sharing posts, photographs, and personal information. With just a few clicks, posts and messages, you could give away enough personal information to compromise your privacy and even open yourself up to identity theft. So that’s why it’s critical that you know how to protect yourself when using these sites.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re setting up your account:
- Would you like to utilize your real name? Some web-based social networking destinations have alleged "real name strategies," yet these have turned out to be more careless after some time. In the event that you would prefer not to utilize your real name while enlisting for an online networking website, don't.
- When you register, don't provide more information than is necessary. If you are concerned with hiding your identity, use a separate email address. Be aware that your IP address may be logged at registration.
- Remember the Internet is permanent: Assume that once you put information on the site, it stays there forever. Even if you delete the account, you don’t know if someone has already printed/copied your text or photos off of it.
- Be selective when accepting a friend: Do you really know that their profile is real and not fake? Only “friend” people you know in the real world.
- Choose a strong password and, if possible, enable two-factor authentication.
- Beware of password recovery questions whose answers can be mined from your social media details. For example: “What city were you born in?” or “What is the name of your pet?” You may want to choose password recovery answers that are false.
- Exercise caution when clicking on links: Even if they’re from friends. Hackers prey on social networks because you are more likely to click on something from your friends. Also be wary of offers with the word “free” in them, or ones that sound too good to be true, as they usually are.
- Manage your privacy settings: Make sure that you are only sharing information with friends and family and check them regularly in case there are any changes.
- Don’t reveal personal information: Be suspicious of anyone who asks for your personal information online and never share your home address, phone number, Social Security number, or other personal identifying information.
- Turn off the GPS function on your smartphone camera: If you plan to share images online, make sure that you turn off the GPS on your device to keep your exact location private.
- Close the accounts that you’re not using. Forgotten social media accounts may be compromised without being noticed. Hackers can leverage these and access other accounts linked to it, like your email.
- Remember to log off when you’re done.
Keep in mind that data put away by third parties is liable to their own arrangements and might be utilized for business purposes or imparted to different organizations, for instance, promoting firms. We know that reading privacy policies is a near-impossible task, yet you might need to investigate segments on how your information is utilized, when it is shared with other parties, and how the administration reacts to law requirement demands.
Social networking sites, usually for-profit businesses, often collect sensitive information beyond what you explicitly input—where you are, what interests and advertisements you react to, what other sites you've visited (e.g. through "Like" buttons). It can be helpful to block third-party cookies and use tracker-blocking browser extensions to make sure extraneous information isn't being passively transmitted to third parties.
Some social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, have business relationships with data brokers in order to target advertisements more effectively.
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