According to security firm KnowBe4, phishing attacks originating from social media have risen 500%! With just about every person online using one form of social media or another, you are at risk and the following best practices, recommended by KnowBe4 are easy ways you can help keep yourself safe.
Be sure you regular check and update your security settings. Social Media sites regularly update their security capabilities and policies. Be sure you review your settings regularly and limit what you post to only be seen by those you trust.
As I like to say to my kids, don’t post anything online that you don’t want to see on the front page of the morning newspaper. Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever, so think carefully about what you post.
Be absolutely sure that you know your employers guidelines for the use of social media. You don’t ever want to post information that your company considers confidential or sensitive in any way. Play it safe. I have several friends who are prohibited from having social media accounts as part of their employment agreements. Be sure you know what you are allowed to do online.
Don’t post that you are away on vacation, etc. or anything that would give a would be thief insight in to when your home will be empty. Just as criminals are known to troll obituaries to see when family members may be at a funeral, in the online world, it’s even worse. I know people who have been burglarized when they were away on vacation, because a “friend” of one of their children saw the family was away and this person broke in, robbed and vandalized the home. Fortunately, they were caught. Don’t give them the easy insight in to when your home may be vulnerable.
Never accept friend or connection requests from people you don’t know personally or can verify. Just because you may have mutual friends or connections, does not mean they are a good friend or connection for you.
Always use different usernames and/or passwords for each of your social media accounts. You do not want all of your online accounts tied to the same credentials as if one gets compromised, you have to assume that they all have been.
Don’t use your work email address for anything other than work. You do not own nor control your work email address, so if you ever lose access, regardless the reason, you will lose control of any accounts you have tied to that address.
Think Before You Click! This is the hallmark of KnowBe4’s security campaigns and it’s a simple and powerful safeguard to always keep in mind. Even when you receive messages from trusted senders, whether in email or social media messaging services, don’t just click. Hover over the link and check the URL the link will take you to. If it’s not crystal clear that the link is legitimate, don’t click it. It’s always safest to confirm with the person who sent you the link, before you click.
Hopefully these eight best practices will be a good reminder and a simple checklist to keep in mind, to do your best to keep your social media accounts safe.