Picture by Eric Schwartzman
Social networking is an incredibly useful tool both in social and professional settings. It’s important, however, to keep your information safe from spammers and hackers who want nothing more than access to your personal data. Follow these tips to help minimize the risk of attack or misuse of your information.
Create a strong password and update is often
Intuitive? Maybe. Imperative? Definitely. Creating a strong password is the probably the single best way to protect yourself against hacks. Avoid using your own name, nicknames, or common acronyms in your password. Use capitalized and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to add complexity and security. Remember not to use the same password for multiple accounts. Finally, change your existing passwords every few months to add another layer of security.
Sound like a lot to remember? Use free password management systems like KeePass or MyPadlock to keep track of your info. Also remember that writing all your passwords down on a sheet of paper (*gasp*) is also an option!
Use an updated browser
Chances are, the newer the browser, the fewer security holes. Stay on top of the security game by using the newest version of your browser of choice. Not sure if you’re using the most current version? Do a quick Google search to see.
Never accept friend requests from people you don’t know
But seriously, unless you were in Lebanon last week and made friends with supermodels, you probably don’t know the scantily clad person who is trying to friend you. A good way to check to see if you know the person who is asking for a friend request is to check mutual friends. Only add people to your network who you know and trust.
Don’t let curiosity get the best of you
“OMG check out this crazy photo of you from last weekend!” It might be tempting to click, but keep in mind that this is exactly how hackers and spammers get an inroad to your info. Use common sense and delete these sort of posts from your newsfeed and timeline to prevent others from clicking.
You wouldn’t get on a train or an airplane without knowing where it is going. Before you click on links that send to another place on the interwebs, check to see what the destination is. Rollover the link to ensure you know the site is trustworthy. Still unsure? A quick Google search should do the trick.
Play around with privacy settings
Get to know your options when it comes to your own security. Play around with different options and chose settings that make you feel the safest and most comfortable. Protecting your tweets or hiding wall posts from your crazy ex can give you added security and peace of mind
Trust your gut
If you’re anything looks suspicious or out of place on any of your social networks, don’t touch it. Using common sense is perhaps the best way to keep your information safe and you protected. Listen to your instincts and only do what you feel comfortable doing online.
Interested in learning more about keeping your social networking accounts safe?
Check out this great infographic from Web Pro News. How are some ways you keep your social network information safe and spam free? Tell us in the comments!