If you are reading this, there is a high likelihood that you are involved in social networking. Just about everybody today has at least one account with a social networking organization such as facebook or twitter. Most of us have several such accounts. Though social networking is both fun and convenient in enabling us to stay in contact with friends and family, there are scam-artists that prey on the most trusting of social network participants. Trust in your friends and family members, the ones with whom you likely communicate with most online, is well and good, however; your loved ones aren’t likely the only viewers of your various social networking profiles.
The best rule-of-thumb in keeping your social profiles secure is to assume that your profile is something that everybody looks at, including identity thieves, your possible enemies, or anybody else who you don’t want in your personal business. Customize your security settings accordingly. You should always keep your online social profiles private so that your information is only available to users to whom you have personally granted access. Furthermore; keep personal information such as your specific birth date, address, phone number, email address, school you attend, what financial institution you bank with, etc, should be omitted. Sharing this type of specific personal information is the ticket for scam artists to steal your identity.
Keep in mind also, when you update status with posts on your web-profiles, you may be broadcasting information to outsiders that are looking for any opportunity to scam you. Posting information about your school schedule for example, or upcoming vacation plans, even informing your community of friends of your upcoming trip to the grocery store right before you head out of your house can let the wrong people know when and how often and for how long your home is unattended. Think about the absolute worst case scenario any time you are about to update your social networking posts, you may seem to be overly-careful but it is far better for you to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to social networking related affairs.
On a lighter note; don’t forget Grandma! Social networking is becoming increasingly popular to people of all ages, even your grandparents. Keep Grandma in mind too, I’m sure your Grandmother’s opinion matters to you, keeping your language appropriate and also your photo albums will possibly prevent a very unpleasant family fiasco! Be smart with social networking by staying safe!