If the first thing you do when you open up your browser is logon to Facebook (or now Google+), then you are just like me and a million others, we love to chat, tweet, poke and comment but are we aware of the risks? Everyone you know (and don't know) is using social media and according to Comscore, India is the eighth largest social networking market in the world. How many of you check a user's profile before accepting a friend request or how many of you think thrice before clicking or allow for an app. Securing your account is an integral part in the world of social networking.
How to Protect Yourself?
Geo-location: Never update your present location on website, just never. It's like putting posters advertising your current location to rob you.
Passwords: This is the first rule to stay safe. Strong passwords with a combination of letters and symbols should always be used on any website be it social networks or business. Of course, that's easier said than done and remembering each and every password becomes quite a pain to prevent which you can use a software such as KeePass to take care of all your password management problems as it keeps all your passwords safe and you only need to remember to a master password to protect them.
Fake Facebook Apps: Beware when you see messages like “WOW, now you can see who visited your profile. Click Here to activate”. You should always check the permissions that app is taking. If a gaming app is asking for access to your facebook chat then something is certainly fishy.
Pattern Recognition: If you go to Domino's everyday and update the same on Foursquare then you have made the work of a thief (a technically sound one) much easier. All he has to do is to follow you and all his work is done by the victim himself and while you are munching away that pizza the thief will be doing his work in your house!
Adding Random people: Don't ever add people you don't know at least not without checking. Every one knows Facebook's privacy settings are on the loose and your so called friend and could have access to your phone number, email and house address, which is something you'd think twice about giving someone in real life.
Popular News Stories: Spammers take every opportunity they have and their biggest method is to cash on fake links claiming to be leaked videos like of Osama Bin Laden's killing or the Blast in Mumbai.
Shortened URLs: These make hackers' work just more easier. They completely disguise the original link and when coupled with an unbelievable sounding stories are just as harmful. Always use a link checkers such as the popular AVG's, WOT (Web of Trust) or you can just use the website LongUrl.
Phishing: Watch out for suspicious looking links or page invites even from your trusted friends and always double-check the URL before typing your username. A padlock or a green symbol will be visible on top of secure login forms. Many Fake surveys are also sent by people asking you to fill out your personal details. Of course, it's just another trick by hackers.
Public Computers: Never tick on the remember password option in a cyber café or a shared computer. Remember that clicking the cross button does not automatically log you out but instead the next person opening the browser will be greeted with your profile.
Well, we hope that you enjoyed the tips we've shared and your account will now be just a little bit safer.