Since 2003, every October has been recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. A collaboration between the U.S.Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance,Cybersecurity Awareness Month was developed to ensure online safety andsecurity.
This year’s campaign theme is “Own IT. Secure IT. ProtectIT,” the focus of which is to encourage personal accountability and toprovide proactive tips to stay safe online. AJTC’sOctober blog series will focus on cybersecurity awareness and will beginwith “Own IT.”
One of the more prevalent ways people connect online is through social media networks. It is critical for people to own their social media presence and understand how their information and posts are being shared. Let’s delve into some ways to stay safe on social media.
Control privacy and security settings – and who your friends are
Privacy and security settings exist to help youdetermine who sees your posts. You should feel free to limit how and with whomyou are sharing information. Use and adjust the settings accordingly so thatyou are comfortable with the visibility of your online presence.
When you accept a friend or connection request, that persongains access to your profile and posts. If you are not comfortable with anindividual seeing your photos or information, it may be wise to keep them off (orremove them from) your list of connections.
Keep personal information to yourself
It is not necessary to post private information on yoursocial media profiles, and you should exercise caution when posting anythingprivate about yourself. Remember that your posts can be seen by your networkof connections and, depending on your privacy settings, can be shared andcaptured by others. The more information that you share, the easier you aremaking it for a hacker or other criminal to steal your data or find out whereyou live.
Protect your reputation
Once you have posted something, it’s out there. Even if youdelete the post, there is the chance that someone has already seen it or that itstill exists on a server somewhere. Use caution when posting photosand do not share anything that you would not want your family or futureemployers to see. Recruitersregularly use social media to screen candidates and many HR departments areimplementing social recruiting as a key component of their hiring methods.
Social media can be a fun way for people to connect andinteract online, but it should be used with caution. By being mindful of what informationyou share and staying vigilant about your photos and posts, social media can bean effective communication and networking tool.