A day doesn't go by where you don't hear about Internet safety and how to protect children online, but rarely do people stop to consider the safety of adults online. With the popularity of such social networking sites
like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,Google+, Pinterest and many others, more people are joining online communities to network or meet up with friends…but are you as safe as you think you are online? Here are five simple tips on how to better protect yourself on social networking sites.
1. Check your profile settings – When you sign up for a social networking site without checking to see what privacy settings are available, you can inadvertently wind up exposing parts of your life to everyone and their mother, parts that you only want to share with a few people. Ensure that your profile security is set appropriately. Typical security choices include public, friends-only and private, but many communities have more flexible settings as well.
2. Choose your friends carefully – Joining a social network means that you will get friend requests from everyone that ever knew you. That kid in 9th grade bio class that ate the worm? Yep, he's going to send you a friend request (which thankfully, you can ignore). You are also going to get friend requests from people that you have never heard of. Those are the ones to watch out for, because oftentimes those profiles are set up to steal your information. The safe course of action is that if you don't know them, don't friend them. The great about social networks is that you get to pick and choose who you will be friends with, so choose your friends wisely.
3. Limit your personal information – As a general rule, the less information you share on the internet, the safer you will be. Obviously, you want to tailor this to the social network that you are using. Facebook, for example, is used more commonly to connect with families and friends, so you might wind up sharing more personal information. On the other hand, Twitter tends to be more of a public forum, so you might want to share less personal data through your Twitter account.
4. Watch what you say, watch what you do – The internet is forever. With the variety of caching, scraping and backup sites that exist, there is an archive somewhere of practically everything posted to the internet.Be careful what you say, because that off-color joke might come back to haunt you. Likewise, be careful with the pictures that you post. A good rule of thumb is don't post anything you wouldn't be comfortable with grandma seeing.
5. The best defense is a good offense – Sadly, hackers, scam artists and internet vandals of all varieties do exist. Protect yourself from these malefactors with a few simple steps:
- Make sure your virus software is up-to-date
- Use a different password on every site
- Don't download attachments from people you don't know
- Don't click on links in e-mails from people you don't know
- Don't give out your password to anyone
- Don't believe everything you read. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A site like snopes.comis good to validate internet rumors
Originally posted here... (by Adam Gluckman)