How to lock down your social media.

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Accessed on 12 October 2021, 2016 UTC.

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PCMag SecurityWatch
Stop Oversharing on Social Media
When I was a teenager, I loved social media. Armed with a Myspace page, a Friendster account, and an AIM friends list a mile long, I posted vague, navel-gazing song lyrics from the likes of Modest Mouse and Interpol at all hours of the day and night. Did I overshare? Absolutely. In those heady days of assumed internet anonymity, I never considered who read my (very dull) suburban teenage thoughts until a teacher referenced one of my posts during class.

I was mortified. Aside from being concerned as to why my teacher looked up his students on Myspace in his spare time, I saw this event as a privacy invasion. It was a weird feeling to realize that people I didn’t know or trust presumed to know me from reading my silly posts of sad song lyrics. As a result, I locked down or deleted all of my accounts and ultimately stopped posting.

In the current social media landscape, it’s even easier to overshare. More people than ever can find out intimate details about your life by analyzing the information you choose to share online. Unfortunately, choosing to communicate often and publicly has security implications for you and your family. Your public posts are easy targets for advertisers, spammers, cyber-stalkers, and every other undesirable person online.

As PCMag Lead Security Analyst Neil J. Rubenking writes, it’s essential to remain vigilant regarding your privacy on social networks. Start by enabling privacy settings that limit your exposure. Facebook, for example, has the Privacy Checkup and Off-Facebook Activity tools that can help you manage who can see and interact with your posts. You can also prevent Facebook’s apps and games from sharing your data. Twitter offers similar privacy tools and lets you enable multifactor authentication for your account.
One way to remove social media from your life is to simply delete your accounts. That way, you can prevent oversharing, as well as a worse fate: an account takeover by a hacker. If you use the same password across multiple social sites, the damage could be severe. If you choose to keep your social media accounts active, use a unique, hard-to-guess password for each one and keep track of your credentials with a password manager.

Stay safe,
Kim Key
PCMag Security Analyst

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How Has Cybercrime Affected Your State?
The cybercrime business is lucrative. Fraud and identity theft resulted in losses of over $3 billion in 2020 alone. Cybercriminals targeted people in some states more often than others, however.

The state smack-dab in the middle of the country saw the largest increase in online crime reports: Kansas had 1,423 more cyber identity theft reports per 100,000 people than in 2010. Cities in Illinois also saw a dramatic rise in this particular kind of cybercrime.

PCMag Editor Jason Cohen breaks down the numbers of cyber fraud and cyber identity theft claims for each state. In addition, a report from Beyond Identity mentions that cybercriminals target people in metro areas in the southern parts of the US. Little Rock, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, and Tuscaloosa lead the list of areas that suffer from digital fraud.

Even if the area you live in isn’t on the list, you should still actively protect yourself online. For example, install antivirus on your devices, use a password manager, enable multifactor authentication on all of your online accounts, and refrain from opening malicious links in spam emails or on social media sites.

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Russ Roberts