Follow this best practice guide for staying safe and protecting yourself online:

1. How would this come across?

Whenever you’re about to post something online, pause and just imagine how it would look on the front page of a newspaper. Feel uncomfortable? Don’t post it.

2. Got a nickname?

Use a nickname or other alias instead of your real name when signing up to a microblogging site like Twitter. This helps to protect your identity and keep your professional self separate from the wild world of social media.

3. Check your settings

Use the privacy and security settings on social media sites so that only friends and family can see your pages. Remember, the people you are connected with can also be a gateway to your information, so encourage those on your lists to check their settings also.

4. Mother’s maiden name

You don’t actually have to use your mother’s REAL maiden name as security answer, just pick an unrelated name that you remember which is more secure.

5. Guard personal information

Never post any personal information like your address, email address or mobile number. This could be all a person needs to  find out even more about you.  Providing your full date of birth makes you more vulnerable to identity fraud.

6. Photos and videos

Once you share a photo online, other people can see it and are able to download it or at very least ‘screen-grab’ it for whatever purposes. Be careful sharing media that reveals too much – avoid photos of your home, work, school or places you’re associated with.

7. Check what’s needed

Don’t give out information online simply because it’s asked for – question why it is needed? Always provide the minimum information possible.

8. Direct message if you can

Unless you don’t mind sharing your conversation with millions of other users, use direct messaging or the private message function. Or go old-school with an email..

9. Delete old accounts

If you’ve stopped using a social media site or forum, then close your account down. There’s no point in leaving personal information out there unnecessarily.

10. Get anti-virus software

Have anti-virus software installed and be vigilant of what you download or install on your computer.

 

Full ‘Share Take Care’ article available on BBC Website

and for further tips visit Ready Scotland: Online

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash