Let’s Face(book) it.

Liking Too Much?

What you “like” on social media is a source for scammers to access private information. Those seemingly harmless requests from friends asking: what was the name of your first pet?; where did you go on your first airplane ride?; what was your first car?, etc.,  when answered, allow hackers to gather data about you. It’s called “Like Farming” and scammers can search for those posts and begin to build a profile about you.  What they do from there is up to the hacker. Each time you answer or “Like” those ‘friendly’ Facebook questions, you leave a trail of your information for scammers.

What happens with your Facebook security is entirely up to you.  Ifyou want to feel more social-media secure, take a little extra time and review your security options and settings on the app. For example, if you are tagged in a photo from last Saturday night, it’s simple to un-tag yourself – or, better yet, set your privacy settings so you can’t be tagged.

Review the privacy and notification settings on all of the apps you have downloaded. Make sure you review the privacy settings on the apps that you connect through Facebook. Make sure nobody sees anything you don’t want them to see.

Most of us don’t bother to check the privacy settings in detail. You can choose the security level of each part of your profile and can keep security risks to a minimum while still using the site.  

Facebook states in its privacy policy that users can choose which information remains private. But it also points out that although it provides privacy protection, no system is perfect. It’s possible for hackers to find ways around safeguards and access information. So, it’s a good idea to do a little research about an app before you download it. If an app tries to take you to a new page, pay attention to the page domain name. Some scammers are clever enough to create a mock-up of a real Facebook page with a request for your password. If the domain name seems fishy, you shouldn’t provide your password. Pop-up messages that advise you to download or install an additional application after you’ve already started the process is another potential sign of malware. Installing these programs may infect your computer with a virus.

 Tips to stay safe on social media

  1. Use a strong password.  The longer and more complicated, the more secure it will be.
  2. Use a different password for each of your accounts.
  3. Set up a two-factor authentication for signing into any social media (or financial) site.
  4. If you have social media apps on your phone, be sure to password protect your device.
  5. Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request.  It could be a fake account.
  6. Click links with caution.  Social media accounts are regularly hacked. Look out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend would post.
  7. Be careful about what you share. Don’t reveal sensitive personal information i.e.: home address, financial information, phone number.  The more you post, the easier it is for a scammer to begin to build a profile about you. If you answer a post ‘what was your first phone number,?” or “what was the name of your college mascot?” are you providing clues for what your password is? 
  8. Become familiar with the privacy policies on social media sites and customize your privacy settings to control what others can see.
  9. Protect your computer by installing antivirus software.  Ensure that your browser, operating system, and software are kept up to date.
  10. Remember to log off when you are finished with the site.
  11. Never ever click on coupon or prize links that seem too good to be true! Roll your mouse over links before you click them and see what the link is and determine if it is a legitimate web site.  If the site doesn’t seem correct, don’t click it.
  12. Check your list of your apps. Make sure anything that was recently installed was installed by you. If you are not sure what the app does, delete it.