The answers to the most common security questions are usually information we want to keep private and secure, like a social security number or your mother’s maiden name. People tend to be careful with banking details and credit card information, but this is not the only data that online criminals are trying to steal from you. It is the tip of the iceberg, and criminals targeting you online take a special interest in what you publish on the internet. Social media is perfect place for criminals to learn more about you, and how to steal your identity, blackmail you, rob your home, or even worse.
Most people make an effort to protect their belongings, homes and family in the real life, but when it comes to social media and online networks and the internet many ignore the risks and overexpose themselves. Sharing too much online can be a big mistake you could regret forever, which is why you should know what not to share and why. The less you share online, the safer you are.
The following are some examples that Wymoo investigators advise what not to share:
- Photos of yourself and family. Did you know romance scammers are constantly searching in social networks for new material? They will use your photos to build a profile of the type of person you are, interests, address, links to family, friends and coworkers, and your financial status. The photos of that trip you took to Japan are more revealing than you thought. And that one where you tagged your work friends is an opportunity for an online criminal to blackmail you. Your photos may not necessarily be used against you directly, but there are many ways in which those images will be helpful. Romance scammers photos are stolen from real people who posted them on Facebook, Instagram, VK and other social networks. When international investigators conduct dating background checks, they find that in 99% of the cases of fraud the pictures where stolen online and do not belong to the real perpetrator. Can you imagine how shockingly disturbing it is to be surfing the net and to find out that dozens of people have been scammed by an impostor using your daughter’s face? It happens every day.
- Vacation plans and photos. When people travel they want to share their excitement and their loved ones want to know how the trip is going. However, all that sharing should be kept private as far as possible. Social networks should never be seen as a window to show the world our whereabouts, specially not when your home is left alone or your teenage kids are taking care of themselves alone back at home. What happens with public sharing is that you never know who is watching, who is paying attention and waiting for the right time.
- Work related information. Compromising confidential information can cost someone their job, or even their entire career. People can be in real trouble if what they shared on a social network or with a “friend” they met online was used to access a work database or an internal system. Business email compromise is one of the most damaging security failures that companies have to deal with currently. Online criminals exploit human vulnerabilities (like online relationships) to attack companies. The victims are just being used as a bait to trap a bigger fish. Without being aware of it, you might be the bait providing the information criminals are looking for.
- Personal data is to be protected. It should go without saying, but we will state the obvious and most important. For your safety and your family’s safety, never share your date of birth, address, email address, phone number or other personal data anywhere on the internet. When forced to provide such information to third parties and websites, such as Facebook, use a fake date of birth to protect your identity and prevent companies like Facebook and Google from their surveillance methods where they collect, monitor and sell your data. Check your friend list and delete anyone you don’t know personally who you could trust in your home. Use a junk email account for shopping, and every company or entity that is not known to you.
Sharing online can be fun and important for you, but the risks involved are serious. Many have been harassed, abducted, victims of assault or even murdered after criminals used social media to stalk their victims. Make sure you set up your privacy settings correctly and ask for help if you do not know how to do it yourself. Do not accept friend requests from strangers, and never share anything that can compromise your integrity, your family’s wellbeing or your safety.
Last but not least, with all the studies about social media causing depression and other problems, consider using social media less, and sharing less on the internet. Traditional relationships in the real world have been around a long time, and don’t require any sign up!
Have you met someone online? Be safe, and contact us for a free quote.
© 2018 Wymoo International
© Copyright 2018 Wymoo International. All Rights Reserved. This content is the property of Wymoo International, LLC and is protected by United States of America and international copyright laws. Wymoo® is a registered trademark.