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October: National Cyber Security Month

The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults. The nature of these sites introduces security risks, so you should take certain precautions.

While the majority of people using these sites do not pose a threat, malicious people may be drawn to them due to the accessibility and amount of personal information that’s available. The more information malicious people have about you, the easier it is for them to take advantage of you. Predators may form relationships online, and then convince unsuspecting individuals to meet them in person. That could lead to a dangerous situation. The personal information can also be used to conduct a social engineering attack. Using information that you provide about your location, travel plans, hobbies, interests, and friends, a malicious person could impersonate a trusted friend or convince you that they have the authority to access other personal or financial data.

What can you do?

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post
  • Remember that the Internet is a public resource 
  • Be wary of strangers
  • Be skeptical
  • Evaluate your settings and privacy policies – Take advantage of a site’s privacy settings.
  • Be wary of third-party applications
  • Use strong passwords, and change them frequently
  • Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date
  • Use and Maintain anti-virus software · Be cognizant of the company you keep. If you receive strange or unusual requests from ‘friends’ it is possible their account may have been compromised or cloned.