Are You Sharing Too Much? Social Media Cybersecurity Tips

Social Media Cybersecurity Tips
  • October 24, 2023

The world of social media sharing & cybersecurity.

Our lives have become intricately interwoven with social media. It often feels like if an experience or event hasn't been shared across every conceivable social platform, it somehow hasn't truly happened. This sentiment resonates with many. The impulse to share our thoughts, experiences, and personal stories with both close friends and complete strangers has become second nature. But during this sharing frenzy, how often do we take a moment to contemplate the potential risks associated with oversharing? We urge you to pause and consider how social media plays a crucial role in cybersecurity and how you can batten down the hatches, so you aren’t left vulnerable. 

Before we dive into the details, let's first examine a sample post. This will help you grasp the concept of accidental oversharing and understand how individuals may inadvertently disclose personal information to bad actors. 

"Off to our dream honeymoon destination, Hawaii with my new Hubby Jim!  

My heart is torn leaving behind our fur baby, Scruffy. But a big shout-out to my mom Jule Smith, for watching him. 

I’ll miss those puppy snuggles and wagging tail, but we’ll reunite soon! Stay tuned for vacation pics! #Honeymoon #PuppyLove #ForeverEvans #6.27.23” 

Mindful Social Media Sharing

At first glance, this post appears innocent, even exciting. Yet, beneath the surface, it contains a treasure trove of personal information that could be exploited. Names, dates, locations, and more – all casually shared in one seemingly harmless update. The consequences of releasing this type of information publicly can lead to social engineering attacks or compromises of your online security, including your passwords. 

We're not here to discourage your sharing habits or shame you for inadvertently oversharing (we've all been there). Our purpose is simply to remind you to be more mindful and adjust your privacy settings, ensuring that only people you know, and trust get the inside scoop on that lunch you had with your BFF last weekend. 

Here are some practical tips to consider: 

Don’t Reveal Your Full Name:

Instead of sharing your full name, consider using a middle initial, your first name and last initial, or just your last name. This simple adjustment can make it more challenging for bad actors to piece together your identity.

Tighten Up Your Privacy Settings:

Take the time to review and adjust your privacy settings on social media platforms. Restrict post and photo visibility to your connections only. By doing so, you ensure that only trusted individuals can access your personal information. 

  • For Facebook: Allow only your Friends to view your account details, posts, and photos. Even if you set it to "Friends and Friends of Friends," you're relying on the assumption that your friends are also following these best practices. You can find more information about Facebook's Privacy Settings for further guidance. 
  • On Instagram: Make your account private and approve only those accounts belonging to people you know personally. You can learn more about this in Keeping Instagram a Safe and Supportive Place. 
  • Snapchat: Keep your interactions limited to your friends, and adjust who can see your story for added privacy. For a comprehensive guide on best privacy practices, you can refer to How to Stay Safe on Snapchat. 


Regularly Review and Update:

Make it a habit to review and adjust your privacy settings regularly. As social media platforms evolve, so do their privacy options. Staying informed and proactive can help you stay in control of your digital presence. 

Beware of Duplicate Friend Accounts:

If you encounter a duplicated friend account, exercise caution. One might be genuine, while the other could be an imposter seeking to gain access to your personal information. Verify the legitimacy of these accounts before sharing any sensitive information. 

Avoid Sharing Important Dates:

Refrain from listing crucial dates, such as anniversaries or birthdays, in your bio. Even if someone isn't connected with you, they can still view your bio information. These details can be used in social engineering attempts to guess passwords or answer security questions. 

In the example below, you can see that even if you aren't friends with a person, their posts and photos may not be visible to you, but you can still see important dates listed in their intro that could potentially make them vulnerable to password hacking. Most people don't see it that way; to them, they believe they're simply highlighting the most precious moments in their lives, but in fact, they are exposing themselves to vulnerabilities. 

Sample of Dates Listed in Bio

Beware of Third-Party Apps:

Be cautious when granting permissions to third-party applications that connect with your social media accounts. Some apps may have access to your personal data and could pose security risks.  

Monitor Account Activity:

Regularly review and monitor the activity on your social media accounts. Look for unusual or unauthorized access and take action if you spot any irregularities. 


Take Our Social Media Cybersecurity Tips and Prosper!

There you have it! These are our tips for practicing mindfulness when using social media. Before you hit that 'share' button, take a moment to consider whether you should remove important dates or names. Ensure that your accounts are secured with airtight privacy settings, allowing you to feel confident about sharing information with your friends and followers. 

Social media can be a wonderful tool for connecting and sharing experiences with loved ones. However, in this age of digital vulnerability, it's crucial to strike a balance between sharing and protecting your personal information. By practicing mindful sharing, you'll be better equipped to enjoy the benefits of social media without compromising your security. 

If you found this information helpful, consider reaching out to Prime Secured to explore how we can provide you with even more cybersecurity tips and tools for your organization. 

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