Social media is a great tool for interacting with clients, vendors and peers, communicating with   family, or connecting with old friends. However, far too often, people willingly give up their personal privacy by oversharing information. Cybercriminals can use information posted to social media sites to gain fraudulent access to personal or company accounts through sophisticated phishing techniques.

Follow our four tips to help you protect your privacy, reduce the risk of fraud, and protect your reputation:

  • Be thoughtful about your privacy settings. Take time to review and set appropriate privacy settings for each social-networking site to determine who sees your personal information.
  • Be cautious about who you connect with. Only “act” online how you would feel comfortable “acting” offline: Don't feel obliged to accept invitations to connect from strangers. Cybercriminals can hide behind fake profiles. Talk to your family and children about appropriate social-networking activities. Kids often compete to see who can get the most friends or “likes” because it makes them look popular. Warn them about the dangers of friending total strangers.
  • Think before you click. Just like in email, malicious links or attachments can be shared through social networking. Studies show, people are more likely to trust links shared by friends. Be mindful accounts may have been compromised by cybercriminals.
  • Be mindful of what you share. Think before you post, and ask yourself, could this information be used against me in the future? Never post confidential information or personally identifiable information. Teach your children that the information they post today could be used against them in a future college or job interview.

If you do not already have a policy in place regarding the use of social media, download our template Internet and Electronic Communications policy, provided in conjunction with Lexisnexis PSL.