We live in a different world today, and one of the main reasons is the Internet and social media. People enjoy sharing their thoughts, news, and pictures on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, personal blogs, and other online websites; however, thieves enjoy finding out when you will be out of town and discovering other pertinent personal information you share. Stalkers can use social media to pinpoint your exact location, and the really bad criminals like child molesters can obsess over pictures of your children as well as pose as children themselves on online games to befriend your kids. Unlimited Security values the safety of you and your family, and we would like to share with you ways to protect yourself online with tips from the United States Department of Justice.
Always remember that what you post online or send in emails can possibly seen by anyone. One of the biggest risks online is sharing sensitive personal information with people you do not know. You should avoid sharing your home address, phone number, family members’ names, car information, passwords, work history, credit scores, social security numbers, birth dates, bank and credit card information, and important identification numbers. Sharing these things put you a greater risk for identity theft. Never post vacation plans publicly on social media sites as this advertises to thieves when your home will be unoccupied.
Smartphone technology allows others to know where the exact locations of pictures you take on your phone because your GPS coordinates are embedded into the photos. Be very careful when posting these pictures on social media. Also, remember that pictures can easily be downloaded and altered by other people who can post them without your consent or knowledge. Be sure your social media settings are set to private and friends only.
The importance of teaching your kids how to protect themselves online ranks high in today’s parenting responsibilities. Tell them the risks of the internet and the dangers of online predators. They should be aware of the risks of meeting a stranger they met online and of talking to people they do not know personally. Be sure to tell them that everything they read online is not necessarily true. Spend time with your children on the internet and know their online habits, favorite websites, and passwords. Set limits on how long they can be online, and consider placing the computer in an open space in the family room so that you can monitor their online activity. Check their social media accounts and emails to be sure there are no dangerous internet issues. Know who your children are chatting with and playing games with online.
Be especially careful when using a public computer. Never click on “Remember me” or “Save my password.” Remember you may never know who is watching your online activity when you are on a public computer.
Have more questions or concerns about online safety? Contact Unlimited Security to find out more ways to protect yourself and your family online.