Social media is here to stay—we connect with family and friends, brands, industry leaders, politicians, and even celebrities. But social networks make it easy for criminals to find out information about you and even infect your computer with viruses and malware.
Think before you post—what you say and share matters
Think before you click—approve friend requests with caution, don’t do the “games and quizzes” you find on social media
Configure your security preferences and check them yearly
Before You Post
You may not realize what you’re about to post could be useful to criminals and harmful to you. Always think before posting (or reposting):
Could the information you’re sharing help a criminal answer security questions about you or guess your password? Common security questions are related to family members, jobs, pets, dates, etc. So giving out this information on social media can help them guess them when trying to hack you.
Could someone use the information to pretend to be you/know you? Criminals may want intimate details about you and try social engineering against family, friends, or colleagues.
Could they use it to know when you are away from home or office? Posting your whereabouts tells criminals you are not at home and that it’s a great time to break in without you interrupting them.
Could they use it to hurt your reputation? Posts shared with a selective audience can be re-shared, without you knowing, through screenshots or cell phone pictures of the post. If you don’t want information to become publicly available, don’t post it, to begin with. NEVER assume if you delete posts later they are gone because they are there forever!
Before You Click
Social media is used by hackers to spread phishing attempts and viruses and malware. Think before you accept a friend request or requests for access from games and apps.
Not all messages (e.g., posts, tweets, chats) are from your real friends. Use the same warning signs you would use for a phishing email
Err on the side of caution when approving app requests to access your account. Most social media viruses can’t infect you unless you give them access first
Keep your computer software and antivirus up-to-date in case you do click on something that ends up to be a virus or malware
Only accept requests from people you know and trust. Criminals can easily create fake accounts to use to find out information about you. Even small details can help criminals using social engineering tactics.
Check Your Settings
Each social media site has privacy and security settings you can configure. Be familiar with the options and check them yearly in case they have changed.