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Internet Safety

February 24th, 2017 by Meredith Bardsley

Internet Safety

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received Facebook friend requests from people I don’t know or from people that have no mutual friends with me. Or the number of times that I’ve been friend requested by people I’m already friends with. They’ve been hacked!

There are many easy ways to be safe online, in any capacity whether it’s social media, online purchasing, and even just email.

Internet Safety

    • First off, keep your profile PRIVATE! If you are not a public official or personality, why do you want the whole world knowing your business, seeing your private family photos, and knowing what you do on a daily basis? Go and Google yourself. See what Google knows about you. You might be surprised. Social media outlets have the ability to be private, so only people you approve or are friends with can see your postings. Check Facebook privacy basics here.
    • Internet SafetyIf your account is already private, make sure you are accepting friend requests, follow requests, or +1 from people you know! Go through your friends list, how many of these people do you actually know? Delete them if you don’t!
    • LinkedIn is geared towards professionals and business, so you might not want a private LinkedIn profile, but there options to maintain some degree of privacy.
    • Don’t share your passwords. Also, don’t use the same password for all accounts. Let’s face it. The majority of us pay our bills online; we shop online, and probably even pay our taxes online. Keep a list (somewhere safe) of passwords, and make them difficult! Include numbers, special characters and capital letters.
    • Speaking of passwords. You know how when you set up a new account and you’re asked to answer security questions? Provide fake answers. Why? Well, have you ever noticed that the majority of these Facebook quizzes and “tell me about yourself” posts are geared towards some of the most common questions? Such as your home city, street you grew up on, favorite vacation spot; the list goes on and on. Don’t answer these quizzes, they’re click bait! When you answer these questions, you’re giving hackers insight which can be used to access your accounts! Why do you need to tell your friends all about yourself, shouldn’t they know already?
    • Check out the Apps you’ve allowed on your social media accounts. Remove any that you don’t use, and limit the information you allow them to see.
    • Be careful what you click on. Sadly, too many times I’ve opened a news story (from an actual news source) only to have “You’ve been selected to win…” pop up in my window. Don’t click it! Back out or close the window.
    • Don’t open emails that look funny or are from people you don’t know. Almost every store today asks for an email address for discounts or rewards points. I have a separate email account which I use for things like that. I also give out a fake phone number.
    • Rather than give your credit card information out online, consider using PayPal, or Apple Pay. Link it to a bank account or a credit card that doesn’t have a ton of available funds.
      In addition to these safety precautions, it’s wise to have a good anti-virus or spyware program installed on your computer.

Is your Facebook password Strong?

February 16th, 2017 by Janvier Nshimyumuremy

Is your Facebook password Strong?

Facebook is one of the most popular social media websites where people get to interact with their friends and families. As of the fourth quarter of 2016, Facebook has over 1.86 billion users. This makes it a target for those who are trying to steal information by using different tricks to get Facebook user’s accounts information. There are several precautions you can take to secure your Facebook from being hacked.

Make a strong password

Create a strong Password. It is recommended that you avoid using your name, birthday, pets, numbers from 1 to 9 or common words in your password. A strong password should be at least 8 characters in length, the more the characters are the better. The characters should contain at least one upper case letter, lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Change your password every 6 months; this is not only good advice for Facebook only but other online accounts as well.

Do not use the “remember password” feature on web browsers. When your browsers prompt the “remember password”, simply click Not Now.  If you use the “remember password” feature on someone else’s computer, it will give them access to your Facebook account whenever they want.

Avoid Facebook Quizzes.  Do not interact with every quiz that pops up in your timeline. Quizzes use catch phrases like “What Do People Say behind My Back?” or “Who Are the Hottest Friends around You?” These quizzes usually request your information such as name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday and other private information. This is giving out your personal identifying information to strangers who might use this information to hack your Facebook account, your bank account and more.