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Six Simple Steps to Stay Safe on Social Media

August 07, 2018

It’s safe to say that social media is more than just a passing fad. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 70% of Americans use social media on a regular basis—up from 5% of Americans in 2005. While Facebook remains the most popular platform overall, others like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube also attract millions of users. 

With the overwhelming popularity and the easy accessibility of mobile technology, it’s more important than ever to stay safe when you venture online. These six tips will help you protect yourself as you stay connected: 

Start with a strong password. It might seem frustrating to create a different password for every account, but it’s easier than recovering from a stolen identity. Worried you’ll forget multiple passwords? Make your life easier with a digital password manager.

Stay safe with two-factor authentication (TFA). When used in conjunction with your username and password, this security feature helps confirm your identity by using something you know (e.g., username and password) and information you have (e.g., a unique code sent to your mobile phone). 

Keep personal details private. Just because a platform’s profile generator gives you the opportunity to list your address, contact information, and family information doesn’t mean it’s wise to fill in those fields. The more information you make public, the easier it is for potential cyber thieves and pesky marketers to access. Save yourself the trouble. Don’t overshare.

Be careful with your check-ins. Sure, it’s fun to brag about visiting a new restaurant or staying at your favorite vacation destination. But keep in mind, when you broadcast your location, you’re also advertising the fact that you’re not at home. This information can be especially valuable to would-be thieves.

Don’t accept every friend or follower request. It’s only natural to feel good when somebody wants to be your friend. However, when you realize many online follower recommendations are generated by algorithms, the feelings aren’t quite so warm and fuzzy. Being selective with your friend lists can help protect your privacy—and your peace of mind.

Update your apps. As technology advances, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. Software developers understand this, and that’s why they are continually refreshing security features of mobile apps. Staying current with the latest updates can protect you against the newest threats. 

For additional ways to safeguard your social media experience, click here.