Social Network Briefing

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Security tips for your social media sites

Security tips for your social media sites

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  • 1. SECURITY TIPS FOR yourSOCIAL NETWORKING SITES © Created and designed by Ms. Cora A. Metz, US Army Retired/Disabled Veteran
  • 2. SOCIAL NETWORKINGSocial networking websites like MySpace, Face Book, Twitter, and WindowsLive Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to shareinformation like photos, videos, and personal messages.As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them.Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals followthe traffic.Check out these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.
  • 3. SOCIAL NETWORKINGUse caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends onyour social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in emailmessages.Know what youve posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break intofinancial or other accounts is by clicking the "Forgot your password?" link on theaccount login page.To break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions,such as your birthday, home town, high school class, or mothers middle name. If thesite allows, make up your own password questions, and dont draw them from materialanyone could find with a quick search.
  • 4. SOCIAL NETWORKINGDont trust that a message is really from who it says its from. Hackers can breakinto accounts and send messages that look like theyre from your friends, but arent. Ifyou suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact yourfriend to find out. This includes invitations to join new social networks.To avoid giving away email addresses of your friends, do not allow socialnetworking services to scan your email address book. When you join a new socialnetwork, you might receive an offer to enter your email address and password to findout if your contacts are on the network.The site might use this information to send email messages to everyone in yourcontact list or even everyone youve ever sent an email message to with that emailaddress. Social networking sites should explain that theyre going to do this, but somedo not.
  • 5. SOCIAL NETWORKINGType the address of your social networking site directly into your browser oruse your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site through email or anotherwebsite, you might be entering your account name and password into a fake sitewhere your personal information could be stolen.Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identitythieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.Choose your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use andmake sure you understand the privacy policy. Find out if the site monitors content thatpeople post. You will be providing personal information to this website, so use thesame criteria that you would to select a site where you enter your credit card.Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Evenif you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print photos or textor save images and videos to a computer.
  • 6. SOCIAL NETWORKINGBe careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allowyou to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personalpage. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information.To download and use third-party applications safely, take the same safety precautionsthat you take with any other program or file you download from the web.Think twice before you use social networking sites at work.Talk to your kids about social networking.
  • 7. Approach links in email with caution and Click Fraud: Cybercriminals want you to like it.)•.What is screen scraping?•Scammers exploit Facebook friendships•.Email and web scams: How to help protect yourself.•Be careful with social networking sites, especially at work.• How to help your kids use social websites more safely.These downloadable brochures tell you how to help prevent and correct privacy andonline safety issues related to social networking.
  • 8. 11 tips for social networking safetySocial networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to shareinformation like photos, videos, and personal messages.As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them. Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals followthe traffic.Read these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.•Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as youwould links in email messages. (For more information, see Approach links in email with caution and Click Fraud: Cybercriminals want you to like it.)•Know what youve posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break into financial or other accounts is by clicking the "Forgot yourpassword?" link on the account login page. To break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday,home town, high school class, or mothers middle name. If the site allows, make up your own password questions, and dont draw them from materialanyone could find with a quick search. For more information, see: What was the name of your first pet? What is screen scraping? Take charge of your online reputation•Dont trust that a message is really from who it says its from. Hackers can break into accounts and send messages that look like theyre from yourfriends, but arent. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations to joinnew social networks. For more information, see Scammers exploit Facebook friendships.•To avoid giving away email addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your email address book. When you join anew social network, you might receive an offer to enter your email address and password to find out if your contacts are on the network. The site mightuse this information to send email messages to everyone in your contact list or even everyone youve ever sent an email message to with that emailaddress. Social networking sites should explain that theyre going to do this, but some do not.•Type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site throughemail or another website, you might be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen. Formore tips about how to avoid phishing scams, see Email and web scams: How to help protect yourself.•Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.•Choose your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use and make sure you understand the privacy policy. Find out if the sitemonitors content that people post. You will be providing personal information to this website, so use the same criteria that you would to select a sitewhere you enter your credit card.•Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easilyprint photos or text or save images and videos to a computer.•Be careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more withyour personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information. To download and use third-party applications safely,take the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you download from the web.•Think twice before you use social networking sites at work. For more information, see Be careful with social networking sites, especially at work.•Talk to your kids about social networking. If youre a parent of children who use social networking sites, see How to help your kids use social websitesmore safely.Free online safety brochuresThese downloadable brochures tell you how to help prevent and correct privacy and online safety issues related to social networking.