Staying safe in the nefarious social media jungle

This is a guest post by Veronica Clyde

Social media sites are wonderful things, but they do have some hazards associated with them. These security hazards come from some common places. The apps that you can add to your profile are commonly associated with hazards. The social media site itself, and its policies, can also be problems for some users.

Apps

Many social media sites, particularly Facebook, have apps that you can install to add some feature or another to your news feed. The security of these apps has been improved significantly over time, but there are still risks.

The main risks are to your privacy. Whenever you install an app on your profile, it will ask you for permission to access certain content on your profile and, sometimes, to post on your news feed. Make an intelligent decision as to whether it’s really worth it to you to do this. The app may not really offer you anything particularly useful but, because you install it, it may get access to your news feed, which might be something you really don’t want.

Account logins

One of the most basic and most effective ways to secure yourself online is to make certain that you don’t use the same password between multiple different sites. If someone should compromise the security of your Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media password, you can be absolutely certain that they’re going to try that same password on other accounts associated with your name.

Use a secure password on these sites, and only use that password on one site. Having the same password across multiple sites opens you up to a range of different attacks and certainly makes you an easy mark for hackers.

Friends

Some people on social media sites like to add as many friends as they can. The problem with doing this is that those friends that they’re adding may not actually be people, or those profiles may be set up as advertising venues, which could affect the feed of the person who added them.

If you’re going to add people that you don’t know in person, try to interact with them a bit so you get an idea if they really are a person or if they are someone using the site for a scam. If you do receive different requests from people you don’t know, it’s generally best to ignore them and not to add them until you have some idea of who they are and why they wanted to add you in the first place.

You should also control who is allowed to tag you in photos and the other features that have been added to sites such as Facebook. If you’re trying to maintain as much privacy as possible on these networks, you want to take control over how your name is used. Letting other people tag you in photos may result in embarrassing situations where your picture appears in a way that you would rather not have shared.

Other security

If you’re on Facebook, you may want to take the option to login over a secure server. You may also want to consider getting a VPN Service, which encrypts your traffic to and from any site that you’re visiting, which can offer you quite a bit more security for a very modest price. Those particular services will work on any website and for any type of traffic that is coming to or going out from your computer, making them an excellent way to stay safe.

Where social networking is concerned, be smart. Keep control of your friend lists, don’t let people tag you without your permission, and make certain that you break your friends up into groups so that you don’t share information with people who may find it objectionable.

About this post’s author: Veronica Clyde is writer at VPNServices.net, a website where you can read reviews about the best VPN providers. You can read more about VPN services by visiting her website.


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