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Protecting Yourself on Social Media

Protecting Yourself on Social Media

Monday, August 16, 2021/Categories: Community News, Bank News

Social media identity theft is a growing problem. The more the media on our phones becomes involved with the daily lives of people like you and me, the more prone we become to potential scammers. 

By definition, social media is all about sharing personal information, be that photos, vlogs, or simply your personal thoughts. But how safe is it really to put all of this information out there for the world to see? According to Comparitech.com, social media users are 30% more likely to fall victim to fraud on social media, with services like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram being the most risky to use, boasting a 46% rate of users falling victim to scams. 

Kim Giddings, head of Operations here at Andover, advises that all social media is an inherently risky enterprise. “People should always keep in mind that using social media will always carry risk. While social media has many positive aspects, if you’re afraid of the consequences, then the safest thing you can do may be removing your presence from these kinds of [social media] sites.”

Thus, while there is nothing inherently wrong with sharing yourself with the world on social media, it is absolutely crucial to keep track of the information that you make available. Here are some key tips to help protect you from identity scams on social media. 

Use Strong Passwords 

While it might seem like common sense, many people still include personal details about themselves (birthdates, children’s names) in their passwords. This information can be easily accessible to a determined scammer. Therefore, it’s crucial to use strong passwords on all your social media posts. Committing a random sequence of numbers and symbols to memory can seem like a tedious undertaking, but using such a password is a great way to ensure that your social media accounts stay protected. 

Keep Your Personal Information Private 

It can be incredibly easy to share seemingly harmless information like your birthday, your phone number, and even your pet’s name online. However, while such posts might seem harmless and safe, you could be inadvertently sharing the answers to your bank’s security questions, or giving away your home address. It can be all-too-easy to post everything about yourself to your friends and family, but unfortunately in a world filled with identity theft and scammers, it’s always safer to keep your social media profiles devoid of such personal information. 

Set Your Privacy Settings to Strict 

Another simple way to make your accounts’ security stronger is to set your privacy settings to strict or private. This way, you can limit the number of strangers that can even look at your account, safely keeping the details of your life limited to those who know you. 

Always Remember to Log Out 

This tip is especially helpful if you are logged in to a public computer at a library or hotel. You don’t want to give anybody easy access to your private information. Forgetting to log out means that whoever uses that computer after you has easy access to your recovery email addresses, private messages, and even your financial information. 

Consider Using Third-Party Internet Security

At the end of the day, you can be completely mindful of what information you have available to others and still fall victim to online identity theft. That’s why utilizing a trustworthy, third-party internet security suite like Bitdefender or Kaspersky can be the ultimate step in securing your social media accounts.

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