Own IT – Social Media & Your Digital Fingerprint
If you searched for your name on Google, what would the search results be?
For many of us, the top search results link to our social media profiles. Some would also see a variety of other online archives like publications, public directories, or company profiles.
Now more than ever, Americans spend overwhelming amounts of time on the internet. 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site. Your digital fingerprint may seem insignificant, but in fact it can reveal a wealth of data that can be used against you by cyber criminals.
The good news is, it’s in your hands. We are responsible for the information we share – and there is no “delete” button on the internet. It’s critical that we are intentional about the information and the photographs we choose to share online. Below we share some best practices for active participants on social media.
Share with Care
Think about the photo or message you’re about to post. Would you want your future boss to see it? Are you sharing a vacation photo with a headline that alerts would-be criminals to the fact you’ll be out of town for another week? Are you tagging a friend without their consent? These are all important things to consider before hitting the “post” button.
Update Your Settings
Do you have location services enabled on more than one app? This feature is obviously important when hailing an Uber or searching Yelp or Google Maps for “Dinner Near Me,” but you can customize those settings so that they’re only turned on while the app is in use. We’re also seeing a sharp rise in the number of third-party apps that want to connect to your Facebook account for an easy sign in. Consider the amount of information that gives these third-parties and think critically before selecting it.
Only connect with people you trust. Fake accounts are on the rise. If you get a friend request from someone who you thought you were already connected to, search your connections to find their original account and ask them if they’ve started a new one before clicking “Accept.” Even on platforms that feel safe, with limited personal information, keep your connections personal.
Never Click & Tell
Limit the information you post – from personal contact information to your favorite neighborhood coffee shop. These seemingly random details are all that criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings, both online and in the real world.
See Something, Say Something
If a friend posts something that you think is too personal, whether it involves you or not, let them know that it makes you uncomfortable. Use calm, rather than accusatory, language that facilitates a learning environment, and communicate details about what makes it inappropriate. Likewise, keep an open mind in the instance that a friend approaches you regarding something you have shared.
As a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion, Morrison-Maierle Systems wants to empower all Americans with the knowledge and resources to practice safe online behavior. For more information on “Connecting with Confidence,” click here: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-2019