Don’t Make Yourself A Target

Many social network sites make it too easy to overshare personal information.  An innocent post to Twitter or Facebook, or pictures uploaded to SnapChat or Instagram can help a criminal target you.  Online posts that identify your location, your travel and vacation plans, your employer, your home, and your personal possessions can be used by criminals to plan an crime.  Kidnapping for ransom, burglary, car theft, and robbery can be an outcome. This is an area where most of us could take minute to think and use a little more discretion.

  • Limit access to your social profiles to people you actually know and trust.  Do any of your Facebook friends have a criminal record?  Would you even know?
  • Avoid sharing your location, use less detail, or wait until you have left the location.  Resist the urge to share your vacation trip and photos in real time.  This tells everyone with access to that account that your home is unguarded.
  • Does your phone automatically upload pictures to a publicly accessible social account? Turn this feature off, or upload your photos to a private storage site such as DropBox or OneDrive.
  • Don’t share information about when or how you get paid.  I’ve seen pictures posted online of guys holding a paycheck, with the bank routing and account number clearly visible, or sitting next to a stack of cash.
  • Again, resist the urge to brag online about your new car or big screen TV.

Learning to be more discreet in your social feeds will help to reduce your profile as a target for criminals.  Next we will look at strategies to protect your financial information.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at Computer Integration Technologies, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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