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National KE-CIRT/CC Cybersecurity Best Practice Guide of the Week



In This Issue:

* Safe Use of Social Networking Site















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Online Social networking is a way of using your computer to talk to other people by use of internet-based social media programs to make connections with friends, family, classmates, customers and clients. Social networking can be done for social purposes, business purposes or both. Examples of Social networking are Social Connections (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, MySpace); Multimedia Sharing (You Tube, Flickr, Picasa); Professional (LinkedIn, Classroom2.0, Nurse Connect); Informational (Super Green Me, HGTV Discussion Forums, Do-It-Yourself Community); Educational (The Student Room, The Math Forum, ePALS School Blog), Academic; hobbies among others.


What security implications do these sites present?


Social networking sites rely on connections and communication, so they encourage you to provide a certain amount of personal information. When deciding how much information to reveal, people may not exercise the same amount of caution as they would when meeting someone in person because:


1.  The internet provides a sense of anonymity.

2.  The lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of security.

3.  They tailor the information for their friends to read, forgetting that others may see it.

4.  They want to offer insights to impress potential friends or associates


The more information malicious people have about you, the easier it is for them to take advantage of you. Predators may form relationships online and then convince unsuspecting individuals to meet them in person. That could lead to a dangerous situation.


How can you protect yourself?


1.  Use strong passwords – Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed. If your password is compromised, someone else may be able to access your account and pretend to be you.

2.  Limit the amount of personal information you post – Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule or routine. If your connections post information about you, make sure the combined information is not more than you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. Also, be considerate when posting information, including photos, about your connections.

3.  Remember that the internet is a public resource – Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing. This includes information and photos in your profile and in blogs and other forums. Also, once you post information online, you can’t retract it. Even if you remove the information from a site, saved or cached versions may still exist on other people’s machines

4.  Be wary of strangers – The internet makes it easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives. Consider limiting the people who are allowed to contact you on these sites. If you interact with people you do not know, be cautious about the amount of information you reveal or agreeing to meet them in person.

5.  Be skeptical – Don’t believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information about various topics, including their own identities. This is not necessarily done with malicious intent; it could be unintentional, an exaggeration, or a joke. Take appropriate precautions, though, and try to verify the authenticity of any information before taking any action.

6.  Evaluate your settings – Take advantage of a site’s privacy settings. The default settings for some sites may allow anyone to see your profile, but you can customize your settings to restrict access to only certain people. There is still a risk that private information could be exposed despite these restrictions, so don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want the public to see. Sites may change their options periodically, so review your security and privacy settings regularly to make sure that your choices are still appropriate.


Have the above security tips in mind when operating your computer systems. Report any cybercrime incident/activity

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