McAfee's Tips for Better Social Media Security
Article by George Norman
On 18 Jul 2011
Earlier this month we were reporting that a grand total of 15 tips for better password security had been made public by Robert Siciliano, Identity Theft Expert and Consultant for McAfee, company that specializes in providing security software solutions for home and business users. If you’re interested in taking a look at the tips, check out this article .

Today we are glad to report that the same Robert Siciliano has made public another set of 15 security tips. This time Robert Siciliano shared 15 social media security tips. I’ve taken a look at the tips and I’ve summarized them below.


1. Never let your guard down. Some 55,000 new pieces of malware are uncovered every day and not a day passes without seeing some news about a hack. The simple truth of the matter is that you could become a victim at any time, so do no let your guard down.

2. Be careful what info you share. Some things are better left unspoken – or unshared. So before you post a status update, a photo, a comment, or anything else, take a moment to think about it. Do you really want to share that info with others? It’s better to think before you post than to regret it later.

3. Be weary of apps that want to access your data. Keep this fact in mind before you let an application access your data: you will allow that app to send you emails, post to your wall, and access your information at any time.
4. Test unknown and short links. Before clicking on an unknown or short link, test it at by pasting the link in the “View a Site Report” form. It’s better to be cautious than to click on a possibly dangerous link.

5. Posts with subjects such as “LOL! Look at the video I found of you!” should be avoided. If you click the link in the post and you are sent to a site that claims you need to upgrade your video player in order to see the clip, you are most likely on a malware spreading site. Instead of upgrading your video player, you will download malware onto your computer.

7. If it feels odd, be suspicious. Got a message from Bob and it says that he’s stuck in Cambodia and needs some money to come back home? It’s most likely a scam. Be suspicious of anything that seems odd or unusual. When did Bob go to Cambodia anyway?
8. Use the privacy settings. If you don’t want everyone on the web to be able to access your profile, make use of the privacy settings. Select the most secure options to protect your privacy. Check the settings periodically to make sure no changes that expose your profile to the public have been made.

9. Geolocation lets others know you’re not at home. Whenever you log into a location using Foursquare for example, you’re letting your friends know where you are. You’re also letting others know that you’re not at home. There was even a site called Please Rob Me that showed people how dangerous geolocation social networking could be and how important privacy is.

10. Keep your browser up-to-date. Updates bring with them stability and security fixes, so an up-to-date browser is a lot safer than an older version.
11. Do not reuse passwords. Choose different passwords for different social networks and sites; and make sure to pick properly strong passwords. Use a password manager if you have trouble keeping track of all your passwords.

12. Make sure you’re logging into a legitimate site. Take a look at the URL to make sure you’re on the right site. When logging into your Facebook account for example, make sure you’re on, not some other domain.
13. Be weary of suspicious messages, posts and links, especially if they ask you to log in a second time.

14. Use a security software solution and keep it up-to-date. Make sure your solution can protect against viruses, spyware, spam, has a built-in firewall and features a website safety advisor.
15. “Invest in identity theft protection,” concluded Robert Siciliano. “Regardless of how careful you may be or any security systems you put in place, there is always a chance that you can be compromised in some way. It’s nice to have identity theft protection watching your back.”

Tags: McAfee, Security, Password, Social networking
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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