guidelines for safe social networking

After reviewing the eight guidelines for safe social networking (below)

Why should you be concerned for safety in using social media? Support your response with a specific example.

What additional tips can you share to make social media use safer?

Eight Guidelines for Safe Social Networking

More and more people are becoming accustomed to communicating and sharing information, both business and personal, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and countless other social media sites. As the popularity of these social networks grows, so do the risks. Savvy business communicators can protect themselves by employing smart practices, such as the following:

• Beware of privacy settings. Many sites increasingly give users more control over their settings. Don’t assume you must use the default settings. Read the site’s privacy policy and use its settings to control who sees your basic information, personal information, photos, friends, and postings. However, sites can change settings anytime without notice. Don’t rely solely on privacy settings. Always use discretion in what you post.

• Check it before you click it. A sophisticated scam known as spear phishing is ensnaring unsuspecting users. Even if a strange message looks as if it’s from a friend, remember that hackers may have broken into that person’s account. Use an alternate method to reach your friend to confirm the message.• Remember that Big Data is watching you. Whether you are making business contacts or visiting fun sites, you are leaving a digital trail practically forever when you browse the Internet—even in incognito mode! Be mindful of the trail you are leaving when you search and roam.

• Beware of oversharing. If your employer visits your Facebook page and notices a flurry of activity while you should be working, you might land in the hot seat. If you report that you’re sick and then your Facebook location shows you posting from the local movie theater, this could reveal that you’re playing hooky. Additionally, never give details of upcoming holidays nor post-holiday snaps while you’re away. Criminals scour social networks to find empty houses to burgle.

• Think twice before “friending.” Don’t reject friend request from some coworkers while accepting them from others. Snubbed workers may harbor ill feelings. Don’t friend your boss unless he or she friends you first. Send friend requests only once. On the flip side, don’t accept every friend or follower request you receive. Connect only with people you know in real life. Criminals create fake online accounts to befriend others and harvest personal information.

• Be careful of third-party apps. Polls, quizzes, and games often look innocuous, but signing up for them may be giving scammers permission to access your profile. And if you decide to pay for admission or added perks, you may be providing your credit card and private information to cyber criminals.

• Limit your LinkedIn info. Think carefully before posting your full résumé at LinkedIn. Yes, you do want to include enough information to help in a job search, but don’t make it easy for identity thieves to use that information, for instance, to fill out a loan application.

• Don’t link accounts. Many websites and apps allow you to log in with Facebook, rather than creating a separate account. Doing so enables the social network to share all the information it holds about you, including the date and place of your birth and other personal information. Is the temporary convenience worth the risk?

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