PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
For many of us, this is the busiest time of the year. School is in full swing, the holidays are just around the corner and the weather is mild enough that we can enjoy the outdoors even more. There’s so much to do and so much to talk about! One of the most fun parts about having a full, active life is connecting and sharing with people on social media. What you share may not always be private and using a few simple tips when posting on social media can help keep your information safe while you’re sharing pictures of your latest outing or morning coffee. Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect your identity.
Helpful Social Media Tips:
Most social media networks let you manage your privacy settings, so you can choose who sees your information and how much of it they can see. It’s worth looking into to make sure you aren’t accidentally sharing information like your birthday, high school, or home address with strangers. Settings change often, so it’s good to check into them regularly just to make sure your personal information stays private.
Sharing is fun, but sometimes a little discretion is in order. Exercise caution when using the “tagging” feature that tells people where you are. This GPS enabled feature may let people know when you’re not home, or let them know your home address. You can check these location settings on your mobile device and also on your social media network settings so that you’re not giving strangers a detailed account of your whereabouts.
Change is good, when it comes to passwords:
Change your passwords often, and make them hard to guess. I made the mistake of using a simple password across a few websites and social media platforms a couple of years ago. Luckily, when someone figured out my password I was able to stop them and lock them out before any damage was done, but it was an eye opener. Now I change mine regularly and create them in combinations of numbers, letters and symbols that are harder to crack than simple words.
Most importantly of all, never give out your personal information to a stranger. Sometimes fraudsters will pretend to be acquaintances or potential friends in order to gain your trust. Be cautious with your personal information, even something benign like your birthday or mother’s maiden name can be used to commit identity theft.
A little caution goes a long way…
Social media is great tool for staying connected and enjoying life. Using a little bit of caution when you’re online can help protect you from fraudsters. Most of us won’t encounter scammers but being proactive and using a few tips will make sure that even if you do come across someone who isn’t on the level you’ll be protected. GECU members are encouraged to call 778-9221 or toll-free at 1-800-772-4322 if they’ve been contacted by a suspected fraudster.