Social media – Risks and how to prevent these risks

We, you and I, everyone use social media to share our daily life events, our emotions, to express opinion, to read news etc.  We connect with our friends, family members, relatives on social media. We chat with them for hours and hours. Now a days business owner also use social media platform to advertise their business, services and products. Creative people use social media to show their creative works to the world, teachers can give notes to students through social media. In social media like LinkedIn, job hunters can able to search for Jobs and show their Job profiles.

Among many of us using social media website to share our daily events, make chat etc., the risk of using social media is increasing day by day. According to a report over 16 million US people became victims of identity theft in 2012. Many people are being scammed on social media. Our privacy is at risk on social media. If your information gets into the hands of cyber criminals, then they can use your information to send you phishing emails, which is more dangerous you can think of. Cyber criminals use phishing emails to steal your confidential financial or other secret information, which you don’t want to disclose to others.

Some of the major social media platforms

Facebook – Facebook, is an American based social media website. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes on February 4, 2004. Its headquarters is located at Menlo Park, California, United States.

Twitter – Twitter, is an American based social media website, which was founded on March 21, 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Evan Williams. In twitter users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Twitter headquarter is located at San Francisco, California, United States.

LinkedIn – Although LinkedIn is a social media website, it is best known as business and employment-oriented service platform. LinkedIn was founded on December 28, 2002 by Reid Hoffman , Allen Blue , Konstantin Guericke , Eric Ly , Jean-Luc Vaillant. LinkedIn headquarters is located at Sunnyvale, California, U.S.

Besides Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, there are other social media platforms also exists, like Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr , Flickr , Reddit , Snapchat, WhatsApp etc.

Risk of Using Social Media
1. You may open yourself up victim of identity theft.
2. You may be scammed by cyber criminals on social media.
3. You may unknowingly redirect to malicious links and may download malicious applications.
4. Online marketers can send bogus marketing emails by getting your email from social media, which is something really frustrating.
5. Even your private life may get hampered by excess use of social media.

 How to stay safe on social media -

Never give your personal mobile number on social media –  You should avoid giving your personal mobile number on social media, if there is no option without giving your mobile number on social media, try avoiding your personal mobile number, use a secondary mobile number, which you don’t use on your banking purpose or personal purpose. If your social media give you the option to hide your mobile number. Try using that option. By hiding your mobile number cyber criminals and scammers won’t able to see your mobile number, and you will be safe from being scammed by scammer.

Unfriend unwanted persons: – Never become friend with unknown persons. Scammers and cyber criminals can send you friend request or follow you from fake profiles. So, make sure you know the people in real life you add on the social media.  Many social media platform give you the option to block users. To get rid of unknown and unwanted persons you can use this block option.

Never give you full birth date on social media: – You should never share your birth date on social media, you may open yourself up to victim of identity theft by disclosing your birth date.

Don’t click links, if you are not sure about it: – Scammer and cyber criminals can send you malicious links to you on social media. By clicking you may download payloads on your device. It will give cyber criminals remote access to your device.

Use strong password: – Always use strong and complex password, and frequently change you passwords. Never use same passwords for all accounts.