Be Smart and Stay Safe on So­cial Me­dia

Road Today - - Contents -

Many of us love shar­ing on so­cial net­works — whether that’s pic­tures of our fam­ily, in­for­ma­tion about an up­com­ing va­ca­tion, or up­dates on a new fit­ness trend we’re try­ing out. But with so much per­sonal in­for­ma­tion out there, it’s easy for scam­mers to get hold of your money or steal your iden­tity.

With the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of Face­book, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram, Snapchat and other so­cial me­dia sites, it’s im­por­tant to be care­ful about how much in­for­ma­tion we share, where, and with whom. Cana­di­ans lose mil­lions of dol­lars every year from these kinds of vi­cious at­tacks, so be on the look­out at all times.

Pro­tect your­self by be­ing mind­ful when us­ing so­cial me­dia:

1. Be pass­word savvy. Cre­ate strong pass­words and en­sure that they’re unique and chal­leng­ing so scam­mers won’t be able to guess them. A good pass­word is one that’s easy to re­mem­ber but hard to guess. Make it a habit to change your pass­words reg­u­larly and use dif­fer­ent ones for dif­fer­ent sites. Don’t save them to your browser — a pass­word man­age­ment tool is much safer and can help you keep track of them all.

2. Ex­plore your pri­vacy set­tings.

Man­ag­ing your set­tings wisely can help avoid any un­wanted at­ten­tion to your so­cial me­dia pages. Ad­just your set­tings to se­lect who can ac­cess your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, pho­tos and posts.

3. Avoid over­shar­ing. While so­cial me­dia en­cour­ages the shar­ing of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, avoid re­veal­ing too many per­sonal de­tails. Scam­mers can use this to track down in­for­ma­tion that al­lows them to steal your iden­tity. Re­mem­ber, just be­cause you post some­thing in a pri­vate group or with ad­vanced pri­vacy set­tings doesn’t mean that some­one won’t take a screen shot and share it. 4. Be care­ful where you click. There are many at­ten­tion-grab­bing links, pho­tos and ar­ti­cles that pop-up, but don’t click on just any­thing. While these sites may look le­git­i­mate, they can con­tain pro­grams that at­tempt to take your con­tact in­for­ma­tion and share it.

5. Stay alert and cau­tious. Be vig­i­lant about who you com­mu­ni­cate with on­line and how you ver­ify their iden­tity. Be ex­tra cau­tious when peo­ple on­line ask you to do some­thing. Never click on sus­pi­cious links, and never share per­sonal or fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion un­less you can ab­so­lutely trust the per­son on the other end and ver­ify that they are who they say they are.

Find more in­for­ma­tion at www. com­pe­ti­tion­bu­reau.gc.ca/ fraud.

(NC)

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