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Using Social Media Safely

Six Tips for Using Social Media Safely

Social media has made it easier than ever to keep in touch and stay connected with loved ones around the globe. It’s also made users increasingly vulnerable to cybercrimes such as:

  • Data breaches
  • Hacking
  • Fake accounts and impersonation scams
  • Phishing
  • Sending malware via malicious links

But that doesn’t mean you need to swear off social media or delete your accounts forever. By following a few guidelines for safer social media use, you can post, like, and share to your heart’s content.

Here are six simple ways to decrease your risk on social media:

  1. Adjust your privacy settings. Every social media platform allows you to customize the amount of information you share. We recommend selecting the strongest security settings possible to maximize your privacy.
  2. Choose a strong, unique password. With data breaches on the rise, reusing passwords across multiple accounts is the easiest way to fall victim to hacking and identity theft. Use a different password every time, or try a password manager to help you generate and store strong passwords securely.
  3. Control what you share. Remember, nothing is really private online: everything you share can be shared with others. And once it’s online, it’s there forever. Think before you post and be careful not to share sensitive information like your address or your vacation plans.
  4. Watch who you add. Catfishing isn’t just a show on MTV, and fake accounts are growing increasingly sophisticated. Even people you think you know may not be who they say they are, so be selective with who you add. And remember: if anyone harasses you online, report and block them as soon as possible.
  5. Think before you click. Malicious links can expose you to malware or give criminals access to sensitive information. And with the rise of fake and hacked accounts, these links could easily come from people you know. Be wary of clicking links you’re not expecting, or ones accompanied by suspicious messages.
  6. Protect your computer. Install antivirus software and keep your browser, operating system, and software up-to-date. They’re your first line of defense if anything goes awry, so it’s well worth ensuring you’ve downloaded the latest security patch before you scroll through Facebook.

At Horizon, we care about keeping you and your family safe when using the internet. And if you have questions about your service, contact us —we are here and happy to help!

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