Keeping Safe on Social Networking Sites

It’s certainly not a simple subject but being secure on social networking sites has never been as relevant as it is today.  But despite it’s complexity there are some very basic rules that can help you become much more secure online.  Here’s just some of rules you really shouldn’t ignore.

Passwords – one of the most dangerous things you can do is to use the same password across all your sites and logins.  Online hackers and cyber criminals know that this is what people tend to do.  They won’t waste time targeting professionally secured sites like Facebook and Twitter but instead hack into forums or other sites.  They will then test these usernames and passwords on the bigger sites like Paypal and Facebook.  Of course when they have access to one of these sites or your email they’ll be in business.

Information overload – it’s tempting I know to get carried away with posting on you facebook page or Twitter. Of course you want to tell your friends you’re jetting off to Barbados for three weeks.  But I urge you to thing again – what you’re basically doing is announcing that yoru house will be empty to potentially thousands of people.  Similarly be very careful posting too many personal details, addresses, phone numbers – all are gold for the cunning identity thieves who can make your life a misery with enough details.

The final point I’d like to raise is that of how long your information stays online.  The answer is potentially forever, so next time you want to post something online think carefully.  That post or tweet could be visible in twenty five years, will it still look the same?  It’s especially important to stay away when you’re angry or have had a few drinks.   

It’s not easy to stay secure online there are so many potential dangers however common sense goes a long way.  It might also be worth consdering using a VPN or proxy server which also further secures your connection.  The added benefit of these is that it enables you to hide your real IP address too, this can help you access content and sites normally blocked by location.  Check out some of the technology involved on this site –   http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/ , it’s got some useful information on how the technology works and what you c an use them for.