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Social Networking Safety Tips - The IT Help Desk Blog Feature
Ryan Ziska

By: Ryan Ziska on April 4th, 2018

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Social Networking Safety Tips - The IT Help Desk

IT Untangled

 

An article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010 estimated the average teenager consumed nearly 11 hours of media per-day, with one and a half hours spent on social media. 

A follow-up article by online marketing firm Mediakix showed social media usage had jumped in 2016 to 1 hour and 56 minutes after studying statistics gathered from YouTube, Facebook and industry analyst. 

The popularity of social media has removed a layer of privacy, physical and digital security.  Several precautions can be taken to help safeguard your privacy and security online.

Using Complex Password with Multi-Factor Authentication and Auto-Lock On Personal Devices

In my previous blog post, we walked through creating secure passwords

In addition to securing your business devices,  consider the damage that could be caused if someone had full access to your personal computer or cell phone. 

Ensure you set up a complex password on your computer and personal websites.  Many websites, including Facebook, offer multi-factor authentication – this will add a layer of security. 

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To increase your mobile phone security, always enable alphanumeric passwords.  A six-digit password simply isn't secure enough. 

Always set these device to auto-lock in less than 15 minutes to make sure the passwords are effective.

Consider Your Personal and Business Reputation Before Posting

Any posts, pictures, reviews, tweets, etc., are part of your online reputation.  This information should be considered permanent.  Microsoft suggests you ask yourself these three questions before you make any post:

  •   Could this hurt others?
  •   Would I share this with my parents?
  •   Could this endanger opportunities for my future?

A post made on social media using your personal accounts does not ensure it is private.  There are numerous online services to help retrieve this private information.  Also consider your coworkers, boss, vendors, and even your ex could have access to your posts via search engines.

Don't Compromise Your Privacy and Security

It is important to place a high value on your privacy and security when using social media.  Do not post public pictures of you standing in front of your home or your brand-new car.  Information like addresses placards, licenses, ID cards, credit cards or membership cards can offer additional information on your whereabouts and compromise privacy. 

Blacking out a membership number or license plate still provides clues to a crime sleuth.  Additionally, you do not have complete control over your friends’ social media accounts. These accounts can be compromised by criminals or even a mutual “friend”. 

Place a high value on your online anonymity and privacy. Always consider that any information could be given to a complete stranger.

Always Err on the Side of Safety When Making "Connections" Online

Social media can allow contact with friends and family living abroad or even on the other side of town. It can also be used to connect with classmates, new people, or people selling something. However, extreme caution should be used when creating a new contact online or meeting someone you met online.Woman using her smartphone against dating website

Whether you are meeting a new person at a coffee shop or online, strive to be safe and private. Ensure you are protecting your identity and ensure your security by always telling someone you trust about a new person you meet online.  You should never invite a stranger over to purchase anything from you. Most local police stations allow transaction in their parking lots. 

Social media is an excellent tool with lots of benefits to maintain communication with your close friends and family; however, you always need to consider your security and privacy.  The decisions you make online have the potential to impact your real-life. Still, exercise caution and err on safety.

Have more questions? We're happy to chat anytime. Give us a call at 800-481-4369.


The IT Help Desk

The IT Help Desk was created with you in mind. 

This monthly series will give you the inside track with tips and tricks sourced directly from our Help Desk to better serve you. 

Related: Tech Alert: Top 5 Types of Email Scams Employees Keep Falling For

 

About Ryan Ziska

Ryan is the Support Desk Supervisor for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. He keeps a close eye on our Help Desk, making sure every ticket is handled quickly, efficiently, and with the best possible customer service. When you’re in trouble, his team has you covered.