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at home online clinic – how to stay safe on social networks

FacebookTwitter and other sites hold more and more data these days but all this sudden flow of your free and often very personal information should be shared with caution. Here are our top tips to staying safe on social networking sites.
 
As ever, we are grateful for expert advice from leading web protection provider, AVG and in particular AVG’s Chief Research Officer, Roger Thompson. You can download AVG’s Free antivirus software here.
 
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5 top tips for how to keep safe on social media platforms
  1. Privacy settings – Check your privacy settings on your social media platforms and make sure you are happy with what you are or aren’t sharing. Do you want to share your information with everyone in the world, people in your network or just your friends? Pay extra attention with new applications, as some of them have automated settings, making your profile open to strangers.
     
  2. Accepting friends – Do you know all the people who send you friend requests or other connection invites? All invites are not genuine and people might not be who they claim to be. There are no obligations to accept invites from unknown people. Remember it’s not all about numbers; rather quality over quantity.
     
  3. Status updates – Always bear in mind people who follow you on one social media platform, will probably follow you on other platforms as well. Posting a comment, harmless as it may seem, can be used to piece together a picture of your plans and whereabouts. See it as an open invitation if you’d like. Fraudsters can use this information in several different ways, whether that would be stealing your identity, robbing your house or hacking your accounts.
     
  4. Links and applications – Always check that links and apps are from a trustworthy source before you click on them. Just because a best friend has sent you a link to a ‘really funny story’, does not mean the link is safe. A lot of people use URL shortening tools on social media sites, so it can be a bit of Russian roulette as to what you are clicking on. The same applies to third party apps – always check the app safety by looking for mentions of the tools on trusted sites before signing up. Remember these programs generally require your password and log in details, so it’s worth being extra vigilant!
     
  5. Being hacked – Watch out for suspicious activity in your tweet stream and inbox, if you suspect your account might have been compromised. To avoid being hacked, ensure you log out manually from your social media profiles once you are finished, especially if you use a shared computer. Closing a tab or a window doesn’t automatically log you out. It’s also important your password is safe and secure. You will also need to have up-to-date antivirus software on the computer to keep your details safe.
Useful links
About our experts
As ever, we are so glad to be able to obtain expert advice from AVG, a world leader in online security software. AVG Technologies protects more than 110 million consumers and small business computer users in over 160 countries. You can download AVG’s FREE antivirus software here: http://free.avg.com/gb-en/homepage

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