Social networking sites are a great tool for networking, socializing and even building business contacts, but site users should be cautious of security threats and criminals looking to exploit profiles.
Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington encourages responsible use of social networking sites:
- Avoid choosing obvious, easy-to-guess passwords. Memorize them. Refrain from sharing joint accounts with friends or family.
- Never give out passwords, Social Security or bank account numbers. Avoid posting information that could be viewable to the public, such as: addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and birth dates.
- Review account privacy settings. If it is not a business account, make sure settings are selected to make comments, photos, and contact information only viewable by "friends."
- Be cautious when submitting information online; if it's confidential, make sure the site is secure.
- Be mindful of hackers. Messages on social networking sites could appear to come from friends, but could actually be from strangers who've stolen account information.
Parents, Teach Your Kids How to Stay Safe on Social Networks.
Visit www.bbb.org for more advice on how to protect data online. For instant tips and marketplace news updates, follow your BBB on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.