Friday, June 24, 2011

Good online etiquette to stay safe

Reposted from Yahoo!news

Here's some advice from Sileo, who wrote the "Facebook Safety Survival Guide," about protecting online privacy on all social-networking sites:

• Never post your exact date and place of birth. It's invaluable information to identity thieves, particularly when the two are bundled together.

• Never post your address, phone number or email address. This is plum information to scammers and marketers who are looking for nuggets of your identity.

• Control who can see your personal information. Many social-networking sites have privacy features, but they change often. Know what they are, stay on top of them and restrict your page to your real friends, not friends of friends or someone you met in a bar.

• Limit information about your activities. If you must brag about a trip or a fabulous party, do it after the fact.

• Remember that what you post is public and permanent. Don't put up embarrassing photos that you wouldn't show your grandmother. Don't complain about your job or your boss. Don't say something to or about someone that you wouldn't say to his face. Don't threaten others.

• Know the four types of Facebook users: friends, outsiders, businesses and enemies.

• You should know exactly who wants to be your friend or is asking you to link into their network. Some people will befriend your friends to get to you or your company.

• Be wary of seemingly harmless quizzes. When someone invites you to take a survey, say, "10 Things Others Don't Know About You" or "My Favorite Things," it may be designed to harvest your data. The name of the street you grew up on or your favorite vacation spot could be clues to your passwords.

• Before you share any information anywhere online about yourself or your workplace, ask this question: What would the consequences be if this information fell into the hands of my boss, competitor or people who don't like me?

Jennifer Waters is a MarketWatch reporter, based in Chicago.




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