No one who owns a mobile internet device or uses a desktop or laptop at home to go online can deny the impact that social media has had on our lives. Whether or not you are a big fan or even if you never sign up for any of the many services on offer, the fact is the way people communicate has undergone a revolution over the past decade.
From the early days of Myspace through to the short and sharp contemporary punch of Twitter, big names in the field are continually newsworthy.
Facebook was the real game changer, and, although it remains to be seen how long it can stay on top in an arena that has already seen some massive falls from grace, an astonishing number of people around the world use the service every day. Anything that involves putting personal information online comes with some dangers and using Facebook, simple though it may be, is no different.
So what are the main security threats that users should be aware of?
As with many things in life, where there is success there are also risks as the
bigger something becomes the more likely that unscrupulous and criminal users will try to twist a positive into a negative. Any online interactions on a person to person basis need certain rules to be observed, many of which are basic common sense and have followed on from an earlier pre-internet age.
Too much information
Make sure you don’t give away too much information for a start. Do you really need to make your mobile phone number public in your profile? Be especially careful when it comes to any personal financial data.
If you make a first connection with someone online, any subsequent physical meetings in the ‘real world’ should be always approached with caution to begin with. A first meeting should always take place in a public area and someone you know should be informed of your whereabouts.
Catching a virus
Most traditional web related problems are caused by clicking on infected links and then opening your device up to infection by malicious code. With social media, the same rules apply as to email – do you know and trust the source of the link? Does it look like spam? Do you really want to watch that video?
Another key threat is the fact social networks are constantly accessible. Whether you’re logging in from your home PC, at work or on the move using your smartphone, you can be in constant contact with the social media world. This means protecting your password and making sure you’re signed our securely is essential and you should only have ever connect to services using a secure internet connection.
This means using a reputable Wi-Fi hotspot or, if at home, checking your broadband security. With the kind of speeds and security offered by Virgin Media it has never been easier to have an active ‘online’ life that is secure and safe to use.
ALSO READ Tips for online safety