Social networking is all about staying connected with people online. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social networks have become very popular avenues for people to communicate with family, friends and colleagues from around the corner or across the globe. The volume and accessibility of personal information available on social networking sites have attracted malicious people who seek to exploit this information. Malicious attacks are often successful due to the assumption of being in a trusting environment social networks create.
How can you Protect Yourself?
- Be cautious when clicking a link regardless of who you receive it from. Many applications embedded within social networking sites require you to share your information when you use them. Attackers use these sites to distribute their malware just like they do when they send malicious email.
- Use strong and unique passwords. Using the same password on all accounts increases the vulnerability of these accounts if one becomes compromised and do not share your passwords.
- Be cautious of who you add as a "friend," or what groups or pages you join. The more "friends" you have or groups/pages you join, the more people who have access to your information.
- Be wary of sharing personal information on social networking sites. Do not assume privacy on a social networking site. For both personal and professional use, confidential information should not be shared. You should only post information you are comfortable disclosing to a complete stranger.
- Use discretion before posting information or commenting about anything. Once information is posted online, it can potentially be viewed by anyone and may not be retracted afterwards. Keep in mind that content or communications on government-related social networking pages may be considered public records.
- Configure privacy settings to allow only those people you trust to have access to the information you post. Also, restrict the ability for others to post information to your page.
- Be wary of downloading third party applications on your site.