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In a world where people are increasingly living their lives online, privacy in the digital world is becoming one of the most important issues of modern life. Stories of identity theft, ruined careers, and fraud abound. How well protected are you against these very real threats?
Is someone harvesting and selling your information right now? Hacking into your bank account? Taking our credit in your name? Are your Facebook settings making you a prime target for identity theft?
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Flickr have become part of our everyday lives. Many users of these fun, online products don't think twice about the public nature of the information they're posting or the potential risks they may be open to for viruses and scams. By being aware of the pitfalls, you can avoid both embarrassment and expensive computer repairs in your future!
A good rule of thumb is DON'T post anything you wouldn't want a potential employer to see. If your friends post tagged images of you, look at them carefully and ask them to remove them immediately if there's anything that might scare off someone you want to impress down the road. If you can't stick to that simple caveat, make sure you have air-tight security settings on your accounts and your computer, don't take any Facebook quizzes, and read this eHow tutorial on protecting your posts and information or this one from Sophos .
When you go back later and try to remove offensive or embarrassing material, you'll find out just how hard it is to scrub the virtual you clean. If you find yourself cringing at your online persona, there are a few good resources out there to help:
eHow - How to clean up your Facebook page for job searchingMashable - How to clean up your Facebook profileMashable - 5 Ways to avoid sabotaging your personal brand online
Social media has become the hunting-ground-du-jour for the malicious forces that troll the web looking for your information and your money. You may think you're clever enough not to fall for email scams, but are you aware of all the bad people lurking in the shadows on Facebook and Twitter?
CSO Online has put together 5 Facebook, Twitter Scams to Avoid and 5 More Scams to Avoid. By the time you read this, there will be countless more scams, so the only true protection is to be aware, be skeptical and use caution.
How safe is your credit card information?
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