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*Playing it safe with social media: Choosing what info to share

Many of us have at least one social media account to speak of. Whether we’re just on Facebook or have accounts on several different sites, we use social media to help us keep in touch with our friends and family without having to reach for a landline phone or meet them face-to-face. It can also help us to meet new people, but as far as that’s concerned, there are problems.

In other people’s hands?

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On your social media account, it might be possible that you have quite a few important pieces of information such as your phone number, occupation and even your home address listed. Some of that info could be used by cybercriminals in order to do things such as:

  • At least partially fill in a driving licence form – this can be done with a full name, address, phone number and number plate. Number plates if photographed on a site like Facebook can be used to some degree.
  • Names, email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses displayed on social media accounts can also be used for fake passport applications made on your behalf.
  • The same goes for payday loan and credit card applications if you have that displayed on Facebook or a similar social networking site such as Google+. Any info that your bank might ask for to verify your account would be useful to cybercriminals if displayed on social media.

Fighting back

Thinking carefully about what information you choose to share on social media sites is imperative. While you might want to show where you live and how you can be contacted to your friends, there is a limit if wanting to be safe. Here are some tips:

  • Only mention the town/city/region where you live on your profile
  • Just send your email address to friends/followers that you trust
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know without finding out who they are first
  • Invest in an internet security program. Internet security = information security

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