Each week a different area of cybersecurity will be highlighted and different tips
will be given to keep you, your computer, your data, and your identity safer.

Social Networking is great and loads of fun but do you know which friends to accept? Friend Finder Game


Cover Yourself: Don't Put Personal Information on the Web

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Cover Yourself: Choose Who Gets to See Your Personal Info

  • Be careful what you share. Online communities such as Facebook & MySpace ask you for a user name, e-mail address, and password when you sign up. You may also be asked for more personal information, such as your birth date, occupation, home and work addresses, phone numbers, gender, marital status, and so on.

    Web sites want personal information because it helps them build community and enables them to provide advertisers with demographic information about their members, but whether to share those details is your decision.

    Bottom Line: the more personal information you reveal online, the more vulnerable you are to scams, spam, and identity theft.

  • Be a minimalist - honesty is not always the best policy.  When signing up for free accounts like e-mail, blogs, instant messaging, music  or photo sharing, give only the required pieces of info and feel free to choose a fake name, age, gender, and location to conceal your true identity.

  • Look before you post. Before you sign up with a social networking community, read the privacy policy. It may be really boring reading, but you need to find out how the site will use your personal info you supply when you sign up.

  • Don't go public. Many sites enable you to control who can see and comment on your blog. You don't let just anybody in your house; lock your profile too!

  • Think long-term. Once something is online you can never delete it. Just ask Lindsay Lohan. Anything published on the Web could have been viewed, e-mailed, printed or archived by almost anyone. 

  • Stay alert. As you get to know more people online, you may begin to share information casually. Scammers count on that false security to gather personal information that can help them commit fraud or steal your identity. Continue to use common sense as you make online friends. Listen to your instincts about people.

Don't Be a Victim

  • Don't accept friend requests from strangers. Does this really need to be said? Probably since you were able to talk adults have told you, "Don't talk to strangers." The same thing applies online.

    Let's face it. Do you really think that super hot girl is having trouble meeting people? Chances are it's some perv trying to get your personal information to commit identity theft.

  • Shop safely online.  Make sure the site is secure (the address starts with https not http).  Never give out bank account numbers, social security numbers, or any other personal information that is not absolutely needed.  Do not use a shared or public computer for online shopping.

  • Never rush to meet someone you have met online.  Even if you've met them on a reputable site and seem trustworthy, be suspicious if they're pushy about wanting to meet you.  Make sure to talk on the phone before meeting, meet in a public place, and bring a friend.


Check back next week for tips on saying safe when downloading and how to avoid copyright infringement.

If you missed a topic click on the image below:

Beware the Phishing Scam Cover Yourself No Excuses: Illegal Downloading is Stealing Secure Your Laptops & Cell Phones