How to Keep Yourself Safe When Using Social Networking Sites

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by Barbara J. Feldman on June 2, 2008

Everybody is online. Everybody uses the Internet. Everybody uses social networking sites online. And that everybody includes you, your friends, and also a whole lot of not so savory characters who aren’t online to make friends. Instead, they are online so that they can eithe rsteal your identity and thus cost you potentially millions of dollars, or they are online so that they can find out your personal information and thus track you down and use your personal information in other ways that will endanger your safety.

Use disposable email addresses

There are millions of people out there who are eager to invade your privacy and steal your identity. One of the easiest ways to get a hold of your identity is to find out who you are by tracing your email address and then finding out your name, your address, your phone number, and more. By using disposable email addresses, then you can set up a smoke screen between your contact and your real email address, thus effectively setting up a wall between the potential identity thief and your identity. Because you are not using your actual email address, then the identity thieves cannot discover anything about you, and your identity is protected.

You can also filter your emails and set up particular email settings so that some disposable email addresses send straight to your real email account, and some just go straight to the trash. Disposable email addresses are a fantastic way to find out which online sites are trustworthy, and which ones will sell your information to shady companies and organizations. You can get rid of any contacts who are attempting to compromise your online safety, and nobody will ever be able to trace your email address back to your name, your address, your bank account number, and so on and so forth. Of course, you will need to be aware that some online sites will not accept disposable email addresses, because they hide identities and trolls and other malicious users will sign up on these sites and nobody can figure out who they are, which is particularly an issue where crime is involved or harassment.

Turn off your computer

One way to keep yourself safe is to turn off your computer. That simple. That easy. Then you help prevent people from breaking into your computer.

Watch your personal information

Be careful of the personal information that you let out to people you don’t know. Don’t reveal your last name. Don’t reveal where you live—the state or the city. Don’t let people know what school you go to. Don’t tell people any information about your family, such as the number of siblings you have or whether or not your parents are divorced or if you are dating or married. This kind of information can be very quickly pieced together to create a startingly accurate picture of your life. Be careful because people who want to find out about you will do everything in their power to do so.

Use privacy control

All social networking sites offer privacy controls. Use them. For example, on Facebook you can control who can even see your profile. Don’t let anybody see your profile unless you know who they are. Then you can control your information. Make sure that your profile does not show up on a google search. Don’t add people as friends unless you actually know who that person is.


More tips like this one in Online Trends



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