Warning: Social Media May Be Putting Your Security At Risk

3d illustration of warning ribbons

Guest Post by MJ Schrader

Social media is great (especially during a web challenge such as the Ultimate Blog Challenge).  Unfortunately it is easy to get caught up in the doing that we forget about security.  Yes, you need to think about security when using social media as well.

1)  Use a secure and different password

Your password should be a variety of letters and numbers, other characters as well if the site permits.  But not only that, make certain each of your social media sites has a different password.

Can’t remember all those passwords?  Then get a password manager or make up a code like EgBdF98FB% for “Every Good Boy Does Fine” 98 because it’s a number you remember, FB for FaceBook and the % sign for a character.  Or make it more creative by switching out some numbers or other characters for letters.

2)  Don’t give away your location.

It’s great telling your friends you are at the movies, but you may have also just told people with fake profiles, scammers and strangers that they can stalk you at that movie theater.  Or that if they want to rob your house, you won’t be home for two hours. (or that whole weekend!)

Instead, don’t say where you were or wait until you are elsewhere.  Then you can say, “I was just at the Hollywood 30 watching Jurassic Park 3D! It rocked!”  (Ok, you might not have watched Jurassic Park 3D, but I’d like to!)

3)  Hover over that link!

Ow.ly Bit.ly all these short links are easy to add to social media.  Your friend may have posted that link.  But these may not go where you expect.

Scammers may have used your friend’s profile to post the link. Your friend may have not even looked at the link and just shared it.  It may sound good, but be careful to hover over the link to see if it goes where it says and to a respectable website before sharing it and letting it spread further.

4)  Fact Check

No, Facebook is not going to change colors just because you like a post.  You aren’t going to get money that so and so is sharing just for sharing this post.  That missing teen was found 10 years ago, if they were missing at all.

That crazy video with a link offsite is probably to a website with a virus.  The “is this you?” is probably malware.  And make certain you are at Facebook, Twitter, or Google before you actually login. If it’s not the right name, don’t login.

5)  Don’t blindly add people

Similar to fact check, fact check the person before you add them.  See if they have people in common with you.  Check their pictures, do they look real.  Is this someone you have seen around on Facebook?  If they have friends in common, you should be seeing them post on various accounts.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the person for any reason at all don’t add them.  If you really want to, make certain to add them to a list that only sees things you would want to share with the whole world.

If you think you have malware or that someone may have gained access to your account, change your password immediately.  Remove any offending posts. Run a virus scan on your computer.

There are many more tips for using social media, but these five cover the basics.  Actually each tip has smaller tips in them to help keep you secure on social media so you got a few bonuses!

MJ After designing and securing websites for multi-million dollar companies, MJ Schrader founded Media Guard Group. Helping business owners have a site that looks like a million dollars while being easy enough for them to maintain. If you are ready for a new website or ready to get your website secured, Media Guard Group can help.  Please visit our website today http://MediaGuardGroup.com

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  1. Great advice. I will be sharing this – thanks! I also wait till I have been somewhere before saying where I am – or if I am overseas we always have a housesitter and mention it or wait till we are back to share publicly. Great tips!

    1. Thanks for sharing it, Donna. And smart move on not mentioning when you’re overseas.

  2. Excellent tips, MJ! Many people are taking major precautions to protect their websites and blogs, but often don’t think about security when it comes to social media. I’m often surprised by some of the detailed information people put out that could jeopardize their personal safety.
    Leslie Keffler recently posted… Do You Work Holidays?My Profile

    1. It is surprising how much gets shared–I think often people just aren’t thinking and forget how public the internet is (even “safe” feeling social networks with privacy settings).

    2. I agree with Michelle. People forget how much social media exposes your personal life and personal safety. :)
      MJ Schrader recently posted… Beware of the SEO HackMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the great reminders. I’m pretty vigilant but you can never be sure. In fact, I just shared the video of the Amazing Mind Reader in Belgium, who got all of his information off FB. You should have seen the faces of the people when he revealed his secret behind the curtain!
    Deb Dutilh recently posted… International Moment Of Laughter Day!My Profile

    1. I haven’t seen that one, Deb, but I can imagine! It’s amazing how well you can “know” a person just from social networks or often their blogs. I try to be very conscious what I share, especially about my family and children, for just that reason.

    2. I have seen that video Deb. It was “icky” feeling. And between our various social media outlets it’s way easy to “overshare” like that video shows.
      MJ Schrader recently posted… Beware of the SEO HackMy Profile

  4. Thanks for sharing these help tips MJ. I’m happy to say I’ve been using them, I had a fantastic teacher. I’m not paranoid but I’m extremely cautious in all areas of my life. I’ll never complain about privacy issues as it relates to Social Media. I keep what’s private, private. :-D
    Adalia John recently posted… 10 Inspirational Image Quotes from Maya AngelouMy Profile

    1. Sometimes a bit of paranoia is a good thing, Adalia. :)

  5. That is a smart thing to mention. You have to have things in common with someone before adding them. If you do not think you can connect with them, leave them alone!

    Lawrence Bergfeld
    Lawrence Bergfeld recently posted… MLM Truth On Subconscious Mind TodayMy Profile

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