10 Tips for safe social networking this holiday season

Sharing is in season with Christmas around the corner, and as in the offline world, on the internet it’s the small gestures that count.

According to security software company Trend Micro, less than four in ten people – 38% – know how to limit what they post online and risk leaving a stream of tidbits for cyber criminals to collect.

“Most of us are far too free and trusting with our personal information online,” said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud and emerging technologies at Trend Micro in an company statement. “We don’t realize how quickly little bits add together to form a startlingly accurate picture of our personal lives. This unintentional disclosure of personal data can have very real consequences, making the work of criminals much easier.”

The company has released ten tips to stay safe when sharing wishes and memories this holiday season.

  1. Don’t ever assume that information that goes online will remain private.  Assume strangers will have access to anything you post.
  2. Getting tagged can reduce your privacy if those users are less careful.  Be cautious of letting yourself be tagged.
  3. Check your audience.  Remember that your friends may unwittingly spread your information through their security settings.
  4. Be suspicious of links posted by strangers.
  5. Use two-factor authentication for social media accounts for an extra layer of security.
  6. Double check your privacy policies to make sure they have not been changed since your last review.
  7. Use a privacy scanning software to streamline privacy settings on social networks.  An example of this is AVG PrivacyFix, which is a free extension for Google Chrome.
  8. Do your part to report and block spammers in order to help clean up your own as well as other peoples’ accounts.
  9. Verify links friends have sent to you through another means of communication.
  10. Be suspicious of friend requests.  They may be impersonators hoping to get access to your information.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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