You’re likely among the 80 percent of adults who participate in one or more forms of social media. Phishing scams, where criminals try to collect your personal data, has more than doubled on social media sites this past year. Here are some red flags to be aware of.
Oversharing – When creating a profile, most sites will ask for personal information which puts you at risk if it is made public or hacked. Reveal only what’s necessary. A covert way hackers gain your personal information is by tempting you to click on an unrelated link that downloads your information.
Social Networking – It’s very easy to pretend to be someone else online. Hackers can take control of your account so be careful who you interact with and don’t “friend” someone you don’t know, even if their profile looks legit.
Location-Based Services – Ever opened a website to have a request to track your location? Block this feature when available. This service increases your vulnerability for outside sources to track your movements.
Privacy Settings – Default privacy settings are imposed unless you change them. Double check all of your accounts and make sure only people you know can view your content.
Illegitimate URLs – Don’t click on a link or go to a site that isn’t legit. A common hack is providing links with one keystroke difference in a recognizable corporate name. Fake social media accounts are often created to pose as customer service reps.
Fake Freebies – Beware of “free trials” that require your credit card information and personal details. Scammers also set up fake social media pages that claim to offer free or deeply discounted products and services in an attempt to collect your personal data. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.