You are innocently having fun with your kids trying to figure out what your royal wedding name would be, meanwhile hackers are gathering useful information from you. By revealing these three things: a grandparent’s name, the street you grew up on, and the name of your first pet, you are giving away the answers to commonly used security questions for setting up accounts. Before you know it, your identity has been stolen.
Social media has blown up over the years and it’s important to consider what you’re sharing with the world. It is equally important to be careful when clicking on links that seem to be delivered from friends.
Hackers love social media because we love to share tons of personal information with our friends. We often tell everyone every time we leave town, celebrate a birthday, or if we get an updated contact number. Do we really want to let hackers know we will be shopping out of the state we live in? It advertises that it might be the perfect time for a fraud attempt. Some will even share their address with the pure intent of inviting friends and family to a special gathering. Many strive to up their number of friends by accepting friend requests from just about anyone. Meanwhile, hackers are gathering private information to try to steal our identity and/or infect our computers/mobile devices.
Have you ever heard a Facebook friend say, “Don’t accept a friend request from me?” Hackers often try to impersonate people or try to get victims to give away vulnerable information or to click on malicious links.
Hackers often use social media contests or outrageous news attempting to phish information out of you or to infect your device. Avoid taking surveys and clicking on streams to sporting events through social media. Fake customer support is another tactic often used to hack us. Be cautious when asked for your log in credentials from customer support that you have not requested.
Some good practices are:
• Limit the size of your network and only accept friend requests from people you know.
• Regulate privacy settings.
• Keep software up to date.
• Use HTTPS websites.
• Don’t use social media on public computers.
• Avoid donating directly through social media. Go to the charity website.
• Look for the lock icon to verify that the website is secure.
Trust your instincts when deciding how to avoid a shark posing as a fish!
Written by Michelle Stamps
Michelle has over 10 years of experience in marketing and business development across various industries including government and non-profit. Her background in writing, facilitating presentations and event planning allows her to use her creative skill-set and her relationship building skills strengthens her ability to understand the human element role in cybersecurity and to support positive behavior change. Whether she is out in the community, blogging or developing the next social post for TechGuard, she believes in telling the company’s story and uses relatable, real-life examples to connect with our clients. If you know Michelle outside of work, you would know that she loves sunny days and tropical places.