Social Media Can Damage More than your Reputation

ID Protection

Social Media Can Damage More than your Reputation

With so many of us using social media, there are more opportunities than ever to steal identities or commit online fraud. The personal information we reveal on Instagram and Twitter, and the photos and videos we share on sites like Flickr and You Tube, can be used in a variety of malicious ways.

Most of us enter sensitive information—our full names, relationship status, location, hobbies and interests—without thinking twice.  All of this can be used to steal identities, access accounts, and create fake profiles.

That being said, here are five strategies we can all use to protect ourselves on social media:

  • Choose your friends carefully

    We all grew up with the warning, “Don’t talk to strangers.” It’s harder to tell who’s a stranger on social media, but the same rule applies. Use strong privacy settings to keep your information from being seen by strangers, and only accept friend requests from people you know in real life.

  • Don’t overshare.

    Be protective of your own privacy and that of your friends and family. Never share personal information like your address and birth date, year of graduation, or your email address. Post vacation photos after the vacation so you don’t advertise that your home is empty.

  • Be careful what you click.

    If an unusual message or unexpected ad pops up on your social media account, think before you click on it. If in doubt, get a reality check from a trusted friend or family member.

  • Report abuse.

    Cyber-bullying happens to people of all ages. It often involves hijacking an account or creating a dummy account with someone’s pictures and content. If you’re harassed or threatened online, block that person on social media and report it to a friend or family member, as well as law enforcement.

  • Monitor your online identity.

    Consider an identity theft protection service  that will monitor the use of your online information on the Internet black market or “dark web.”

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