Did you know that some 3.5 billion people are active internet users? More than 2.5 billion of those individuals regularly share, post and comment utilizing social media, and as more countries and communities gain access to affordable internet, those numbers are only going to rise.
The internet has made communicating with others and sharing our lives easy and fun, but it also presents a number of security risks. If you aren’t careful to filter some of your more private or personal information you can end up in hot water at work, or run into serious financial problems. These simple tips will help you protect yourself while online.
Social Media profiles. Are your social media profiles open to everyone, or have you added filters? You might not have any qualms sharing your opinions or daily activities with the world, but experts recommend keeping personal information like your age, address, phone number, and birthday private. Cyber criminals can skim this information and use it to open bank accounts in your name or destroy your reputation. If your pictures are accessible to the public, your identity can be stolen or your image used for something you never intended. Make sure you can trust the people you are giving access to your accounts.
Don’t overshare. You might have had the worst day ever, but it’s best to keep your grievances with co-workers or friends offline. Whatever you post on the web is there for eternity, and can be accessed years down the road. Remember the embarrassing things you posted during college or high school? A future employer could easily access that and form a negative opinion in seconds. Think carefully about what you’ll be posting or sharing.
Read company policies. Social media companies are regularly updating their privacy policies. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but take the time to read the information included in these updates. Even though you have an individual account, the company may own everything that you publish.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be far less likely to encounter problems with trolls, cyber criminals or any other unsavory online characters. When in doubt, always take a step back before hitting that publish button.