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How to Invest and Save Money

How to Invest and Save Money

Britt Erica Tunick is an award winning financial journalist who has spent the past 17 years writing about virtually every aspect of finance. She has mastered the art of boiling down complicated financial topics for readers to understand.

Be Careful What You Share on Social Media

Be Careful What You Share on Social Media

By Britt Erica Tunick

It is no secret that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated all the time. And let’s face it, they wouldn’t go to such great lengths if their efforts weren’t frequently successful and profitable. With the tactics that cybercriminals rely on to access account passwords and personal information now ranging from phony websites to artificial intelligence-enhanced phishing attacks, consumers need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to protecting personal information. And that includes social media.

From Facebook to Twitter, people share more about themselves than ever before. Unfortunately, doing so can make it easy to overlook just how much you are sharing about yourself — information that criminals are able to use to hack into your accounts or even steal your identity.

If you’re someone who turns to Facebook as an occasional distraction from work (and who doesn’t?), then you have more than likely seen, or even taken, some of the countless quizzes and surveys people share that ask innocuous questions, such as what is your favorite movie or where do you like to vacation. Yet, the information you reveal through these quizzes is often the same information you may use as the basis for passwords you have chosen to secure your accounts, or the answers to the security questions that banks and financial institutions use to confirm your identity whenever you log in from a different device than you typically use.

Believe it or not, cybercriminals often watch and study your profile and your social media activity for days at a time to get as much information as possible about you.

While social media isn’t a bad thing, there are a few precautions you can take to better secure your personal information. First off, make sure that your social media settings are limited only to friends, and don’t accept friend-requests from individuals you don’t actually know. Also, keep in mind that it is not uncommon for people’s social media profiles to be hacked. So if you suddenly receive messages from a friend’s social media account, asking for something that seems out of the ordinary, or information that he or she would already know, there is a good chance someone has either hacked that person’s account or created a whole new fake profile for them. Finally, think twice before taking any social media quizzes – or at least take a few minutes to first try and figure out exactly who it is you are giving your information to, given that these quizzes are sometimes created by the cybercriminals themselves.

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