The GreenTech team shares tips for protecting yourself online.
Scammers love social media because it’s the perfect environment for them to set their traps. In order to prevent yourself from falling victim to one of these attacks, our team has compiled a list of things you can do to protect yourself online.
- Use a secure password.
Passwords that are easy to decipher are a security risk. Not only your social media profile, but all of your online accounts. Passwords like ‘12345’ and ‘password’ are some of the most commonly used, and therefore insecure. Passwords should be unique and updated frequently.
- Delete Old Information and Profiles
Delete old workplaces and schools from your profiles. Many sites ask you to enter the name of your high school or mascot as a security question. Removing this info from social media gets rid of any chance that you’re giving scammers the clues to your passwords.
Deactivate profiles you no longer use. You may think that no one looks at that old MySpace profile, but it still contains pertinent information about you.
- Protect Your Privacy
Set your accounts to private. This will prevent people you are not friends with from viewing too much information on your account.
If using Facebook from your smart phone, turn off location settings for social media apps and photos. This may prevent you from checking in at different locations, but it will also keep people from knowing exactly where you are at any given time.
- Be Careful What You Post
Avoid posting personal information such as your address and phone number. This info is a gold mine for scammers, and can be used as the building blocks for identity theft.
Be wary when posting your current location. Thieves can use location data to determine when you are out of town, putting your home and belongings at risk.
- Be Wary of Who You Add
Do not add strangers on Facebook. While it can be tempting to increase your friend count, you don’t know if this person is real or fake. These accounts could be scammers attempting to gather information to use against you. If you don’t know the person in real-life, delete the request.
If you find that you’re receiving a request from someone already on your friends list, ask them offline if this is correct. Scammers will often look to your contact list to create a dummy profile of someone you’re already friends with.
Before clicking on a link, make sure it’s everything it says it is. Hover over links with your mouse to make sure they will direct you where they claim to.
- Think Before You Click
Beware of clickbait. Clickbait is a term used to describe “content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.” Posts promising to create a ‘Don’t Be Like..’ meme or containing ‘shocking’ video footage are classic examples of clickbait on social media. These posts will then require you to enter personal information, which is how fraudsters will trap you.
Another thing to remember is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. No one is giving away anything for free. That’s why it’s so important to avoid posts promising free goods in exchange for your shipping information. With this information, scammers can find out much more about you, and even steal your identity.
- Never share your login information.
No credible site will log you out of Facebook before providing information. If it does, leave the site immediately, without entering your login info.
If you’d like more information on how to protect yourself online, please feel free to contact us at Green Technology Services. We’re here to help.