SOCIAL NETWORKING SAFETY TIPS
Information below is brought to you by the Computer Crime Investigative Unit, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Download Flyer »
Social Media allows people to interact with others with similar interests or backgrounds at a faster more convenient setting, online, underscoring the need to understand potential risks associated. A person’s online activities may inadvertently expose excessive information about their identity, location, relationships, and affiliations, creating an increased risk of identity theft, stalking, or targeted violence. A safer social networking experience is available by accepting some basic assumptions and following a few recommendations.
- Once something is posted on a social networking site, it can quickly spread. No amount of effort will erase it – the Internet does not forget.
- You are not anonymous on the Internet.
- There are people on the Internet who are not who they purport to be and will take advantage of you if afforded the opportunity.
- Participating in more social networking sites increases your attack surface and overall risk.
- Everyone on the Internet can see what you post, from where you post it, who your friends and associates are, the comments your friends make and your “witty” replies.
- An embarrassing comment or image will come back to haunt you…one day…when you least expect it…at the least opportune time.
- There is a complete record of your online activity...somewhere
- Do not post anything you would be embarrassed to see on the evening news.
- Do not accept friend/follower requests from anyone you do not know; independently verify identities.
- Avoid using third-party applications; if needed, do not allow them to access your social networking accounts, friends list or address books.
- Do not post personally identifiable information.
- Be cautious about the images you post. What is in them may be more revealing than who is in them. Images posted over time may form a complete mosaic of you and your family.
- Do not allow others to tag you in images they post. Doing so makes you easier to locate and accurately construct your network of friends, relatives and associates.
- Securely configure your social networking accounts to minimize who can see your information
- Do not use check-ins. If check-ins are enabled, disable them. Do not post your specific location.
- Be cautious when accessing online accounts from public Wi-Fi connections. Someone might have installed software capable of capturing your login credentials and other sensitive information.
- Do not use the save password, remember me or keep me logged in options from public or shared computers.
- Limit social networking to personal use.
- Do not use the same password for all of your accounts. Make sure the passwords for your financial sites are not permutations of your other passwords.
- Do not use your social networking site to login to other sites. Create another user account on the new site instead.
- Use strong, unique passwords. Consider passphrases for an additional level of safety.
- Keep anti-virus software current.
- Do not arrange meetings with people you meet online.
CONFIGURATION GUIDES from U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command - Computer Crime Investigative Unit
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For more information about computer security and other computer related scams, we encourage readers to the Army Criminal Investigation Command (Army CID) website.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (external sites)
• Cyberbullying - National Crime Prevention Council
• Staying Safe on Social Network Sites - Dept. of Homeland Security Cyber Infrastructure (CISA)
• Kids and Socializing Online - Federal Trade Commission
• Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ("COPPA") - Federal Trade Commission
• Facebook Help Center • Twitter Help Center • LinkedIn Help Center