Safety on the Social Networks...
networking Web sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces
are services people can use to connect with others to share information like
photos, videos, and personal messages.
the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them.
Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow
these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.
caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your
friends on your social Web site. Treat links in messages on these sites as you
would links in e-mail messages.
what you've posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break
into financial or other accounts is by clicking the "Forgot your
password?" link on the account login page. To break into your account, they
search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday, home
town, high school class, father's middle name, on your social networking site.
If the site allows, make up your own password questions, and don't draw them
from material anyone could find with a quick search.
trust that a message is really from who it says it's from. Hackers
can break into accounts and send messages that look like they're from your
friends, but aren't. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an
alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations
to join new social networks.
avoid giving away e-mail addresses of your friends, do not allow social
networking services to scan your e-mail address book. When you join a
new social network, you might receive an offer to enter your e-mail address and
password to find out if your contacts are on the network. The site might use
this information to send e-mail messages to everyone in your contact list or
even everyone you've ever sent an e-mail message to with that e-mail address.
Social networking sites should explain that they're going to do this, but some
the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use
your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site through
e-mail or another Web site, you might be entering your account name and password
into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen.
Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity
thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.
your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use
content that people post. You will be providing personal information to this Web
site, so use the same criteria that you would to select a site where you enter
your credit card.
that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent.
Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print
photos or text or save images and videos to a computer.
careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking
sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with
your personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your
personal information. To download and use third-party applications safely, take
the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you
download from the Web.
twice before you use social networking sites at work.