Data Privacy Day: How to protect your private data on social media

January 23, 2018

Data Privacy Day, January 28th, is an opportunity to think about what we share, and who we share it with, on social media. While it seems obvious to keep some things private (address, phone number, credit card number, mother's maiden name), there are other things you can do to further protect your info, yourself and your valuables.

  1. Check your privacy settings, and consider your needs. If you use social media as a way to keep in touch with friends, you may not need a widely open setting. However, if you use social media for work purposes, consider two accounts: a private personal account as well as a more public business one.
  2. Unless the purpose of your social media account is to promote a business, don't accept friend or follow requests from people you don't know, even if it looks like you have friends in common. They could be fake accounts from cybercriminals, bots, or just ordinary creeps. Either way, they don't need to see the personal stuff you share with real friends and family.
  3. Avoid posting some fitness app info to social media, such as your regular running routes. While doing fitness challenges with friends can be fun and keep you motivated, you could be putting yourself at risk by publicizing when you're out, and where exactly you'll be.  Share your info with friends directly, rather than in a public way.
  4. Be wary of those fun, silly quizzes you can find on social media, such as the type that tells you your IQ, your personality type, etc. They may take you to unsecure sites via your social media account, making you vulnerable to identity theft by using info found on your account as well as the answers you provide to the quiz.
  5. Wait until you get home before you post photos from events or trips. Otherwise, you may be leaving your home vulnerable.
  6. Use strong, secure, memorable-only-to-you passwords or pass phrases, and keep them to yourself. Likewise, lock your phone with a pin or pattern, so that if you do lose it, whoever finds it doesn't have easy access to your entire online life.

Identity thieves and real-life crooks have become more sophisticated, so protect your private info on social media the way you'd protect your own bank account.  Follow Get Cyber Safe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more tips to stay cyber safe!

Follow Get Cyber Safe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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