With the popularity and accessibility of social media and communication through email, safety should be a priority for all of us.
For even those well-adapted to social media and email, following these seven helpful tips will help keep you and your family safe.
- Never accept a friend request from someone you do not know. Accepting unknown friend requests opens your account to hackers who can easily access your friends list and see all of your posted information.
- Do not accept duplicate friend requests. If you know someone is already your friend on Facebook, don’t accept a duplicate request! Give your friend or family member a heads-up to let them know they may have been hacked.
- Check the privacy settings of your teen’s accounts, so only those YOU trust can see what they post.
- Parental controls are available on every smart phone and computer. Utilize them to protect your children.
- Create a unique password including numbers and special characters (as allowed by the individual site’s password requirements). These unique passwords are not easily guessed.
- Use a different password for each of your accounts. If one account is compromised, all accounts will be vulnerable. This goes for email, too. If you have more than one, be sure the passwords are not the same.
- Do not click on links you do not recognize. Ever. Clicking on an unknown link once, or visiting an unknown and unsecured website can leave your computer (or phone) vulnerable for others to access your personal information. If you’re in doubt, don’t click on it. Ransomware is REAL! (more about that in a future post).
One word I have repeated is vulnerable. If you do not safeguard yourself and your family, you risk being vulnerable to outsiders accessing your personal information. Make informed decisions and when in doubt, don’t click on it!