Cyber security is making the news more regularly. From the recent breech to the Washington Post to the FBI’s first release of a Cyber Most Wanted list, the issue of who is securing the Internet keeps popping up. Whose responsibility is it to keep privacy policies in place and the Internet secure? We thought the topic of cyber security and women could be an engaging potential topic for our upcoming unConference in Mountain View, CA. Here’s a bit more info to get your inner Geek going:
How to Take a Stand Against Identity Theft in Social Media
Highly regulated industries, like banking and insurance, generally have privacy policies that are created and monitored by overarching legal entities. How lawmakers develop these privacy policies is a topic on it’s own, but the effort put in to keeping these marketplaces safe has caused people to wise up to posting social security numbers online and buying into to get-rich fund transfers to foreign lands. As spoofing and scamming are losing their effectiveness, thieves are turning to the next easiest way to keep their businesses going, and they are finding the back door wide open in social media.
Social media has had a lot of attention around lack of privacy policies for good reason. Let’s look at Facebook as an example. Facebook is a website and a website is essentially code. A really good hacker can skim a website and extract information quickly. If your information is public, a hacker can pull it out with ease. Take a look at this simulation for a realistic look of the information that can be obtained from someone hacking into your Facebook account: http://protectyourprofile.org
Although each social media company develops their own policy with their legal team, individuals have a personal responsibility too. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, no business, or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace to make a collective impact on making the Internet more secure. In social media, it’s up to us to self manage personal information, change settings and restrict sensitive data to keep our families and ourselves safe.
“People can take family names, addresses, phone numbers and use that data to try and figure out passwords. These people can sell your information and it’s worth a lot on the black market,” says David Anderson, directory of product at Protect Your Bubble.com. Here are his tips for keeping your personal information safe online:
Top 4 Ways To Proactively Prevent Your Data From Being Accessed
• Do periodic checks of your privacy settings on social media. Privacy policies do change. When FB updates their settings, take the initiative to go in and restrict your settings.
• Disable location-based services on your phone. According to the 2013 Javelin Strategy & Research Identity Fraud Report, smartphone owners have a 33% higher rate of ID fraud than that of the general public. When you load an app, really think about whether you want to enable or disable location-based services for the app. If location based services are not disabled for your device and you auto upload a photo to social media from your phone, you just posted a location of where that was taken. Hackers can use that information against you.
• Pay attention to the credibility of the apps you download. People download apps quickly without thinking about who they’re doing business with. An app with a bad piece of software could be pulling all kinds of information from your device.
• Monitor children’s information. Kids that have grown up in the social media environment are not afraid of what they share. They also don’t apply for credit and don’t have as much activity around their bank accounts so it takes longer to see if their identity has been compromised. Check your child’s credit to make sure nothing funny is going on. Getting ID theft protection (http://us.protectyourbubble.com/id-theft) for your children is also something to consider.
Even though 12 million Americans fell victim to identity theft last year, many people still aren’t aware of the ways that their personal information can be compromised in social media. Please take steps to protect yourself and share this information with others to help fight against identity theft.
This blog post comes from an alliance partnership with Sprout Content. Interview with David Anderson, Director of Product, Protect your Bubble. Contact email@example.com if you have an idea for a guest blog that is of value to the She’s Geeky community.