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Reducing security risks on Social Media

Do you cyber-blab? Are you a compulsive Tweeter or Facebooker? Think carefully about what you post. A simple post about your daily visit to the local coffee shop could be enough to tell a burglar when it is safe to rob your house. Remember EVERYTHING on a Social Media site is public.

Facebook and Twitter

Don’t get carried away with what you post on these sites and remember that almost everything you post will be completely public and it is rather like walking down the local High Street and shouting at the top of your voice to everyone in earshot, everything that happened last night, what colour underwear you have on, your name & address and phone number and where you hide the spare keys to your front door.
Be very careful what you post on Facebook or tweet about. It can be used against you. For example :- when making a job application or being considered for promotion, in court or by an insurance company, even something as mild and innocent as: “Had a great time in the bar/nightclub last night” or “I’m jogging every day to get fit for my holiday”. Not good if you’re claiming for whiplash after a minor car accident or you are off sick from work. Any mention of Alcohol consumption or drug use is a big NO.

Lawyers, Insurance companies, your current or prospective employer will take the time to scroll your Facebook timeline and your tweet history for evidence that can go against you.

Scammers and Fraudsters will scan Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for useful information that will help them scam you.

Reputation and Safety

Seemingly harmless posts and tweets saying ” I buy a coffee at XYZ coffee shop every day at 2pm ” or “I am going to Spain for 2 weeks over Christmas” can tell a burglar when it’s a good time to break into your house. Something like ” great time at pub last night ” when you are supposedly off sick with flu, won’t go down well with your employer and can be enough to sack you.

Be extra careful in the Holiday and Party Seasons, especially around Christmas. You will be really happy about your new IPhone, 60″ widescreen TV, New piece of Jewellery or latest super-expensive must have fashion or designer piece. Don’t post and tell every one about it. That gives the crooks extra information to target you.
Hackers and other criminals can use the posted information to take over your identity and life easily.

Don’t use the F word or the C word or any other bad language! This won’t look good to a potential employer. Neither do continuous posts about how tired you always are and how that “fat cow” in the office always has it in for you and gives you a letter to type at 4.30 on a Friday afternoon. Never post about your alcohol consumption or the use of illegal drugs. An odd puff of weed might seem harmless to you, but it can be grounds for instant dismissal in many occupations and will count against you when applying for any job and even stop you getting a passport or a visa for a holiday in many countries.

Don’t let something you wrote when you had a few drinks or you were in a silly or bad mood, come back and bite you a few weeks, months or years later. Never use Facebook or Twitter when you are not in control of yourself

Don’t post tirades and abuse on a company Facebook page or Twitter Timeline. You might be unhappy that your new “twizzle” stopped working the second time you used it, but you won’t get it sorted that way and when you need help, that company or other companies will have you as a serial complainer or abuser and ignore you.
Beware of Fake and Scam Adverts and “Sponsored” or “Suggested” Facebook posts. Especially around the Shopping and Holiday seasons we see a massive increase in fake and scam adverts, posts and links trying to convince you to buy the latest must have product at cheaper prices. Many of these adverts, posts and links will either steal your credit card details and not deliver the product at all or deliver a cheap pirated “knock off” copy.

Obsessions

Facebook and Twitter can easily distort your sense of reality. One example might be obsessively checking your friend’s page to see what she is posting about, then getting angry or insanely jealous because she posted a picture wearing the new dress you told her that you wanted.
Feeling the need to tell everybody absolutely everything minute by boring minute. You are not Kim Kardashian or a Big Brother contestant.

Solutions

Think, Think, Think before you post anything. Do you really want to say that! No one wants or needs to know how many times you went to the loo or you didn’t wear panties under your micro miniskirt to the disco last night.

Do you really need to post or tweet 50 times a day: ” I had a coffee”, ” went to loo” , ” Egg and chips for lunch”, ” Kevin smiled at me”. No one will go to bed in distress because they didn’t read your pointless or inane posts

Set yourself a limit of say 30 minutes a day, and that’s your limit on Facebook and Twitter and other sites. Turn off the Facebook or Twitter App on your phone so you don’t obsessively check every 2 minutes and post nonsense just because you can.

Set your FaceBook Privacy settings to a sensible level. Only set as public if you really want EVERYBODY in the world to read it. But don’t forget NOTHING you have posted is ever private. A friend or a friend of a friend can repost, quote or re-tweet anything, even if you set it to be private between you and him or her.
Don’t automatically accept friends requests on Facebook. Friends in Facebook or other social media sites are not the same as friends in real life. A friend on Facebook or other sites doesn’t mean someone who you like or have anything in common with and can in fact be your deadliest enemy in the real world.

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