Celebrate Social Media Day with the gift of online security

June 30, 2014

BBB offers ways to secure your online presence

The online world is growing ever more fast-paced, especially when it comes to social media. Social media sites allow us to easily share and see moments of our friends and family. Unfortunately, many often let their guard down online, which may lead to harmful consequences.

June 30, 2014 is Mashable’s fifth annual Social Media Day. Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin is taking the opportunity to offer advice to keep you safe online:

Do your research. Research the social media site or app before signing up.Visit BBB.org to view a company’s BBB Business Review. BBB requires all BBB Accredited Businesses that collect sensitive data to disclose their privacy policies and to protect the sensitive information of their users.

Read the privacy policy. Reading the privacy policy for a social media site tells you exactly what that business can and will do with your information. What you find might change your mind about the things you post.

Be careful what you click. Just because a friend shares it, doesn’t mean it’s a safe link. When social media profiles are hacked, scammers can share viral links that will download malware on your computer. Hover over a link before you click and never enter personal information if prompted by a shared link.

Secure your information. Be careful when entering sensitive information (credit card number, driver's license number, Social Security number) online. Always make sure the website is secure by looking for the "s" in "https" at the beginning of the site's web address.

Think before sending. It's never a good idea to send credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or other sensitive information to another person through email or text. Doing so could expose your information to the wrong eyes.

Check your privacy settings. Periodically review your privacy settings on social media sites. Limit your profile views to only the people you trust with your information.

Don't overshare. Think twice before posting your vacation plans or other personal information. Scammers and thieves may take advantage while you're away or vulnerable. 

It's online to stay. What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet. Always ask yourself if what you're posting should be seen by a future boss (or your future in-laws!)