Social media can be a fun way to interact with friends and family. However, it can also be a source of identity theft and other problems. Someone could use your social media to ruin your professional reputation. They may also be able to sell your information to other people. A few best practices can help keep you safe on social media.
Limit Your Accounts
There are many social media platforms and you may have numerous accounts. However, you should be careful about how many you keep open. Consider deleting ones you don’t use and only keeping a couple. This will help you to better manage the information you share. Additionally, if you have an old account, someone else may be able to take it over and impersonate you.
Only Accept Friends You Know
Lock Down Your Security Settings
Most social media networks have security settings that let you manage who can see what information. Avoid public profiles and keep your information locked down so that only your close friends and family members can see your more private information. Even something as simple as your birthday can help identity thieves get access to your bank accounts.
Be Cautious About What You Post
Minimize Your Personal Details
There is no need to build profiles full of personal data. If you are connecting with people who know you, they don’t need to check your profile to see which year you were born. Even explicitly highlighting your mother on your profile could be an issue. How many security questions ask for your mother’s maiden name? These personal details are more dangerous than most people realize.
Don’t Log Into Websites With Your Accounts
When you log into a website with your social media accounts, you may be sharing information with those sites. How these systems work varies but you may be opening yourself up to identity theft. While some websites are likely safe, it is best not to use this unless you need to. Furthermore, if someone got access to your social media account, he or she would then be able to log into other accounts using it.
Skip the Clickbait
Have you ever posted a photo on your social media and it included the location where you were? This metadata may seem harmless. However, it can be a powerful tool for an identity thief. It isn’t really adding any benefit for your friends and is sharing information about your whereabouts.
Consider, for example, if you are away from home on vacation. Your social feed would be a great tool for a burglar. Being careful about what you share can help keep you safe. Keep these best practices in mind online.