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While most people who use social networking sites are well intentioned, you need to be careful about the information that you share and how you protect it.

People can inadvertently or intentionally use your information to embarrass you, to damage your reputation, or even to steal your identity. Staying safe online takes some diligence and intelligence on your part, but it’s all essentially common-sense little bits that you just need to pay attention to. If you can be cognisant of the atmosphere and always willing to put in a little extra effort, you can greatly reduce the risks associated with social media.

The following are some easy tips on how to protect yourself:

Privacy and Security Settings exist for a reason. Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.

  • Account Settings:
    • Ensure that all of your accounts are set to PRIVATE accounts.

    • Only your friends should be able to see your posts, not friends of friends.

  • Set up two- factor authentication
    • Once you have this setup, some sites also notify you when someone is trying to gain access. If this happens, there are some additional things you can do:- Log out of the compromised account on all devices.- Change your password for that account immediately.- Confirm the email address associated with that account and change other passwords that may be tied to that email on other sites.
  • Protect your password
    • Your password is the key to your online identity. Do not share it with anybody.
  • Sign up the correct age
    • The children’s online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is designed to protect the personal information of children under the age of 13 online. When a child signs up for an account with a falsified birth date, they are outside the reach of protection offered by the act and their personal information is at risk
  • Google alert:
    • There is no reason for you to not have an alert on your name. Its easy and its free to set up. The reason you want a google alert on your name is that as soon as someone puts something, anything up on google associated with your search criteria (your name) you will get notified immediately.
  • Trusted Contacts
    • If you are ever locked out of your Social Media account for some reason, with trusted contacts the process of verifying your identity to can be completed quickly.The social media platform will send security codes to your trusted contacts and they will get them to you so that you can prove that you are the person you say you are.
  • Legacy Contacts
    • Appointing a legacy contact in case of death is a smart move. In the event of death, your legacy contact will have access to your social media accounts and they can then choose to either memorialise your account or deactivate it.
  • Friends and followers
    • Know the risks of having friends and followers. Remember they have access to all of the private information you share and you could potentially open yourself up to catfishing or online bullying when you “befriend” the wrong people.


Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.

For more information on how to keep yourself, your business and your family safe online. Follow Cyber Angels SA on any of our Social Media channels

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