A beginner’s guide to fending off hackers and scammers: Part 7 – Being smart on social media

In Information Security ByTeam Acumin / 24th December 2015

Many of us seem to live our lives on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and it’s not hard to see why. People separated by oceans can communicate freely, and friends can have fun when they’re not together, but social media is not without its downside.

In fact, according to an article that was published on Techland a while ago, as many as 40% of the people who use social media have encountered some form of malicious attack. Luckily, with a bit of common sense, hackers and scammers on social media needn’t make your life a misery.

Privacy settings

Most social media sites have pretty good privacy settings in place, which will give you a decent level of protection against scammers if you use them. Not only should you be using the strongest privacy settings available to you to prevent the loss of your personal data, but you should also be going back and rechecking your settings periodically, as new privacy measures are constantly being added to social media.

Don’t download links from people you do not know

If you are sent emails, messages or links from an unknown source on social media, there’s a high chance that it will be a scammer or hacker sending you it, so it’s of the utmost importance that you do not download any files or click on any links from people you do not know and trust.

Don’t give out personal information

It is never a good idea to give out personal information on social media and many people would not dream of doing so publically, but a lot of people would be happy to perhaps send sensitive information to a friend or family member via private message. You must be aware that this is not safe, as your account could be hacked and these details stolen for fraudulent purposes.