Teens: 7 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Privacy
When you post, you're probably sharing a lot more than you think
If you're a teen, you live online and probably don't think twice about sharing your life with your friends on your favorite social media outlets. But you may be sharing more than you think, and with all the wrong people.
A selfie on Instagram with your college campus in the background. A tweet about your favorite restaurant. A Facebook post about an upcoming vacation. All harmless, right?
Not necessarily. With those posts, you’ve told anyone who can see your social media accounts where you go to college, where you spend your free time and that you’ll be away from your home soon. This info could help a criminal hack your personal data by guessing your passwords or the answer to the security questions your bank uses ("What's your favorite food?" "What was the model of your first car?"). It could even help them steal your identity.
You don't need to be paranoid, just be smart. Keep in mind these seven points, courtesy of the National Cyber Security Alliance.
1. Know the privacy settings on the websites you use. Adjust the privacy or security settings to your comfort level so you know who is seeing what. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information, the National Cyber Security Alliance reminds.
2.Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them. Some stores and other locations look for devices with WiFi or Bluetooth turned on and use them to track you while you’re within range.
3. Never post while connected to free public WiFi. Hackers can easily see the information you share over an unsecured connection and use it to steal your identity. It’s fine to use public WiFi for general Web surfing, but don’t use it to log onto your email or banking accounts.
4. Think about how your post will look in five years. If future employers were to see it, what would they think?
5. Consider your friends' privacy. What will your friend think about that video or group photo you shared? Perhaps she didn’t want the world knowing she was at a certain concert or drinking alcohol. The Golden Rule applies online as well as in real life: Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
6. Don’t click on links that look suspicious. Links in emails, tweets, posts and advertisements could be part of a phishing scam, in which a criminal sets up a fake webpage that looks like a real one (such as your bank's) and uses it to capture your personal information. If the link looks “weird,” don’t click on it. And if the site looks weird, don't enter any info.
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