1. Change your passwords every 90 days and never use the same password for all your accounts. I know it’s hard to resist the urge but don’t do it. I use 1password. It’s pricey but well worth it. If you have multiple accounts and use credit cards online, it’s an excellent choice. Additionally, make sure you remember a long password is a good password. 1password generates long passwords as well. Yes, I’m in love with them.
2. Don’t give your email address to anyone at checkout. All of those emails get put into a database that show where you live. Even from this little bit of information, thieves can find out your salary, credit history and birthday.
3. Create a separate email for all your various accounts such as Netflix, Facebook, etc. That way, when companies demand to have your email, your personal email account won’t be bombarded with junk.
4. Always lock your smartphone and put a password on your computer/laptop/tablet. I have hundreds of stories of people getting their hands on personal social media accounts and causing havoc.
5. Don’t bother filling out all the fields when creating new social media accounts. For example, Facebook wants to know your religion, where you grew up, your interests, etc. They aren’t asking because they want to get to know you. They are asking so that advertisers can pinpoint their target customer. If you don’t see the red star, don’t fill it out.
6. Don’t EVER click a link in an email that says your account has been hacked. Phishing is the number one way social media accounts get hacked. If you think your account has been compromised for any reason, go to the actual social media site and log in. If you don’t have access to the account at all, contact them via email.
7. Monitor your privacy settings on all your social media accounts including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. You should also scan the news for social media updates, etc. Facebook loves to “act first and say sorry later”.
8. Use HTTPS if possible. These settings can be enabled on Twitter and Facebook. You’ll need to manually enter it on LinkedIn.
9. Don’t click links in private Twitter messages. Trust me on this one.
Do you have any tips or scary stories to share? Use the comment section!