Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Best practices for safe social networking

Stay safe and better aware on social networks by following these simple tips:
  • Familiarize yourself with the privacy and security settings on your social networking site and set your desired level of privacy protection.
  • Protect your online reputation by being careful about what you post. What you post online stays online. Besides possibly causing reputation damage, the more information you post, the easier it is for someone else to use that information to steal your identity, track movements, or commit other crimes, such as stalking.
  • Be prudent, say no, and select only people you would like to invite onto your social network. Once you invite friends, their posts on your page can be viewed by your entire friends’ circle and vice versa. What they post could have an impact on your reputation.
  • Do not invite unknown strangers merely because they display an attractive photograph. This is a common technique used by spammers and those with malevolent intentions to gain access to you and your friend circle.
  • If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends’ list and report them immediately.
  • Be cautious about posts which have embedded links, even if sent by your close friend, who may himself or herself be a victim. Spam or malicious links are couched in attractive posts to ensure they go viral.
  • Do not circulate objectionable content. Report such content if you come across it.
  • Do background profile checks and be wary of suspicious behavior of unknown people or friends of friends you invite on social networks.
  • Withdraw from suspicious groups or block people you begin not to trust.
  • Do not go unescorted to meet a stranger. This applies to you whether you are an adolescent, teenager or adult. There have been cases of men who went to meet a "pretty girl" from Facebook ending up being brutally beaten and robbed.
  • Any request for money from unknown persons you befriended online should be met with the greatest of scepticism.
  • Any request for money from a friend or a friend's friend should be verified first by a phone call or through other means.
  • Avoid revealing or sexually-attractive photographs in your profile, as it will draw the wrong kind of attention. But do put a recent photograph of yourself so that others can verify who you are.
  • Limit the dissemination of sensitive personal information, as technical flaws and advertising may reveal it to an unintended audience.

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