Social media is a huge part of most of our lives. Thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter not only can we easily stay in touch with friends and family, but can also learn of community events, help develop a fledgling business, and more.
The downside to social media is that it provides another avenue for danger to enter your life. It seems like every few days, there’s another news story about how social media was used to target someone, either for bullying or break-ins. It’s enough to make anyone seriously consider deleting all of their social media accounts.
You’ll be pleased to know that as long as your careful and follow these tips, you can continue to enjoy your favorite social media sites and also keep you and your family safe.
Don’t Post Vacation Updates/Pictures Until you Get Home
Sure, you’re getting great photos of you vacation and you can’t wait to start showing them off to your friends and family, but hold off for a few days. Wait until you get home before loading everything onto your social media accounts. By not talking about your vacation until you get home, you don’t accidentally alert a would be burglar that your home is empty and vulnerable. The same is true for checking into events and businesses, just wait until your home.
Avoid Public Hot Spots
Ninety-five percent of the people who use public hotspots are good people, but there are a few that use these hotspots to hack into computers and steal a great deal of information, including the passwords to your social media account. Once they have the password, they can use it to create all sorts of havoc. If you have to use a public hot spot, make sure you log out of any site that requires a password.
Know Who You’re Associating With
When you get a friend request or suddenly have someone contacting you a lot through social media accounts, take some time to explore that person’s profile. If it has very little information and none that would indicate you have anything in common with the person, block them right away. These types of empty accounts are created by people who intend to steal your personal information and your friend’s lists so they can hack into even more accounts.
Take Care When Following or Posting Links
One of the easiest ways for hackers to access social media accounts is by posting faulty links. Each time one of these links is opened or shared, the hacker becomes a bigger, and more sinister, online presence. The best way to protect yourself from these types of predators is by only posting links that were created by a trusted source.
Update Your Passwords
Even if you only suspect that your account has been hacked or you get a report that a friend’s account has been hacked, you need to change you password. It’s the single best way to protect yourself. Make sure the password is a strong one that uses a mix of upper/lower case letters and numbers.