National Cybersecurity Awareness Month -- Social Media Safety

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month -- Social Media Safety

Once Your Personal Info Is Online, It's There

  • Be careful what you share. Online communities such as Facebook and Twitter ask you for a username, email address, and password when you sign up. You may also be asked for more personal information, such as your birth date, occupation, home and work addresses, phone numbers, gender, marital status, and so on.

 Web sites want personal information because it helps them build community and enables them to provide advertisers with demographic information about their members, but whether to share those details is your decision. 

Bottom Line: the more personal information you reveal online, the more vulnerable you are to scams, spam, and identity theft.


  • Be a minimalist. When signing up for free accounts like email, blogs, instant messaging, music or photo sharing, give only the required pieces of information.
  • Look before you post. Before you sign up with a social networking community, read the privacy policy. It may be really boring reading, but you need to find out how the site will use your personal info you supply when you sign up.
  • Don't go public. Many sites enable you to control who can see and comment on your blog. You don't let just anyone into your house; lock your profile too!
  • Think long-term. Once something is online, you can never delete it. Anything published on the Web could have been viewed, emailed, printed or saved by almost anyone.  
  • Stay alert. As you get to know more people online, you may begin to share information casually. Scammers count on that false security to gather personal information that can help them commit fraud or steal your identity. Continue to use common sense as you make online friends. Listen to your instincts about people

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Content release date: Thursday, October 17, 2013