Security Center

Digital Media & Social Networks

Social networking sites build upon the concept of traditional social networks where you connect to new people through people you already know. The purpose of some networking sites may be purely social, allowing users to establish friendships while others may focus on establishing business connections.

While the majority of people using these sites do not pose a threat, malicious people may be drawn to them because of the accessibility and amount of personal information that is available.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post – Do not post information that would make you vulnerable i.e. your address, information about your schedule, or routine.
  • Remember that the Internet is a public resource – Only post information you’re comfortable with anyone seeing.
  • Be wary of strangers – The internet makes it easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives.
  • Be skeptical – Don’t believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information.
  • Evaluate your settings – Take advantage of a site’s privacy settings.
  • Be wary of third-party applications – Third-party applications may provide entertainment or functionality, but use caution when deciding which applications to enable.
  • Use strong passwords – Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed.
  • Check privacy policies – Some sites may share information such as email addresses or user preferences with other companies. This may lead to an increase in spam.
  • Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date – Install software updates so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems of vulnerability.
  • Use and maintain anti-virus software – Anti-virus software helps protect your computer against known viruses, so you may be able to detect and remove the virus before it can do damage.

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