Beware of the Dark Side of Social Networking

We know that there are going to be quite a few social media junkies that are going to leave angry comments, and that’s definitely okay. But we need to let you know about the risks around cyberspace, and that means that we have to talk about social media. We use social media daily, but we try to apply security principles as much as possible. You see, security isn’t just about stolen passwords at all. It’s about getting information from plain sight and using it in ways that the owner didn’t intend. A lot of people share tons of data about themselves on social media.

Take a site like Facebook for example: people can find out your real name, where you live currently, w here you’ve lived before, what your mother’s maiden name is… doesn’t that information sound a lot like what they ask you when you’re trying to recover your account on some websites? If you lose your password and try to get it back, these are the types of questions they ask you. Granted, not too many black hats are going to stalk your profile that long but that doesn’t mean the risk goes away. With the rise of technology comes the rise of better mining tools.

Dark Side social media

Even if you’re not worried about outside threats, what about sites like Facebook? They get to mine your most personal data for free, without having to give you anything in return. Your right to access the site can be removed at any time by them, and they don’t necessarily have the best track record in terms of protecting you from cyber threats. There are apps that are allowed to run wild on Facebook, taking up not only resources but getting access to your personal information. It’s important to realize where all of the potential threats are online, even if they come disguised as games that are fun to play.

If you’re going to use Facebook, you need to exercise some cautions:

First and foremost, make sure that you let your youngest family members know about these risks. Teenagers are much more likely to reveal information that they shouldn’t, which means that all a rogue element has to do is target the children of the family. Make sure that you’re blocking anyone that seems to be bullying or making your child uncomfortable.

From here, you want to ensure that you’re using a strong password for every social media site, and that you do not allow it to automatically log you in. Even if you think you don’t have a shared device, you could leave your phone down one day and find someone has all of your account information across the board.

Finally, be smart about the information that you’re sharing online. Don’t be like many people that talk openly about when they’re going to be on vacation. If people know that your house is going to be vacant, you could be inviting local criminals to rob you while you’re away. Of course, having a security system tends to provide discouragement to would-be criminals, but don’t count on only that to protect you.