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Security and Privacy Tips for Social Networks

Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have become very popular places for people to interact with their friends, meet new friends or discuss current events. The main advantage of social media is that it links people with common careers and interests, and offers an ideal way of sharing videos, opinions, photos and information.

However, despite all the benefits, there are some security and privacy risks associated with social media. So how can you protect yourself?

Security Tips

  • When registering with a social network, you are expected to submit your real name, as well as a valid email address. Make sure you select a strong password which is at not less than six-characters long.
  • Use a firewall in your computer as protection against unknown threats. To block known threats, install an up-to-date antivirus. In addition, use intrusion prevention software to keep you informed about potentially hazardous behavior on your computer.
  • Don’t open, download or respond to any content sent or published by unidentified individuals. Opening or downloading such content might result in the activation of a virus which could compromise the data in your computer.
  • Avoid logging in to your personal profile from public computers. This action is exposes you to many risks, such as a local cache or a keylogger capturing your login details. These details may later be retrieved and used and used to access your profile illegally.
  • Be cautious when dealing with social media widgets. Such third party applications which are offered as downloads are usually not tested for security flaws or compatibility. Therefore, when you decide to utilize any of these applications, you need to be sure about what you are installing.

Privacy Precautions

  • Never disclose sensitive information. Considering their open nature, social networking platforms are very vulnerable. You should therefore avoid revealing any sensitive details about yourself, such as your cell phone numbers, your child’s school, your social security number or your home address. You should also avoid posting anything which would work against you, such as videos and photos which show you in compromising situations.
  • Don’t allow strangers to view your profile. Limit access only to friends, family or people you know.
  • Don’t trust people you meet online. Remember that not everyone is who they claim to be. If you have to meet such people in real life, make sure you do so in safe, public places.
  • If you encounter incidences of harassment, stalking, spam or any other intrusions, you need to report such cases to those who are responsible for ensuring appropriate conduct on the social network. You will find the relevant contact information in the site’s Contact Us or FAQ section.

This is a post by Charles, an internet marketing and social media blogger. Currently, he is writing for a discount blog which offers coupon for norton antivirus and carbonite coupon code 2012. He also blogs about coupon deals at blogs which share carbonite promo codes and norton coupons.

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by opensourceway

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6 Replies

  1. Hm. interesting, but i don`t think that it wiil be very useful for me.

  2. Thank you very much for giving us awareness regarding internet net. Yes its true there’s a lot of people out there..waiting for you to become their prey and swallow you. You don’t know whose who…what we can do is be extra careful. Again, thank you..

  3. The ideas you’ve shared here are fantastic and no doubt so great and it may help everyone to be extra careful reagrding to their personal account.

  4. Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u

  5. login in to some random and public computers are one of the biggest mistakes anyone could do. Since some people on that place could retrieve the information you have done like username and passwords of your email adds and a lot more. So be very careful next time and don’t attempt to use there computers if you are doubting or suspecting something.

  6. Its good post. Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have become very popular. Just limit the amount of personal information you post: Do not post information that would make you vulnerable. Thanks

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