Social Media & Account Security

Online identity theft is a concern for many internet users, but people often fail to see the ways in which social media can put them at risk online.  Here are some hints for keeping your information secure:

Privacy Policies
When you post information on social media sites, it’s important to remember that ultimately the information is being controlled by the site administrators. Before posting anything on someone else’s website, remember to review their terms to ensure they aren’t in the business of selling your information or making it available to the public without your consent.

Privacy Settings
This really is about knowing your audience.  Most social media sites / tools have settings to help control the ways in which your information is shared.  A site you’d like to use may, for example, require that you sign up with an email address.  Once you have signed up, however, be sure to check your personal settings to see what information is visible publicly and whether or not you have options to make that information invisible or unsearchable.

Keep Login Details Secure
Social media users share a lot of information online.  Consider the information you are sharing and whether or not it makes you vulnerable to online identity theft.  In the same way that you would avoid posting your personal home address for all of your online contacts, consider keeping your usernames with various online accounts private and ensure your password and answers to security questions are never shared online.

Password Protection
When you’re setting passwords for sensitive information – online banking and e-wallet service providers, for example – be sure you are using passwords and hints that can’t easily be guessed based on information on social media sites.

For example, if you frequently refer to your favorite pet by name on sites like Facebook, avoid setting password hint’s such as “What is my dog’s first name?”.  This seems very simple but since social media makes it so easy for us to put personal information on the web, the connections between secure passwords and status updated or profile information can easily be missed.


Help to keep your information secure online, remember to always consider who is seeing the information you are posting online and who controls your information once it’s out there!

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