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Set your privacy controls to restrict public access.
Make sure your privacy levels are set so that only
your friends and family can see anything that is
private. Some sites let you segment your contacts or
friends list so you can control what coworkers, family,
or your buddies are allowed to see.
Don’t include identifying information like your
phone number, address, place of work, or your
birthday. Don’t even share the state where you born as
this can be used to obtain your social security number.
Even with your privacy controls set, err on the safe side
and don’t post information that could enable someone
to steal your identity or stalk you.
Respect the privacy of friends and family by not
identifying people by name in public profiles and
pictures. And ask your friends not to identify you in
their photos or post pictures of you that are available
to the public.
Be wary of phishing attempts. Sophisticated cyber-
criminals are taking advantage of the popularity of
social networking sites. It can be hard to tell if an
email supposedly from a social networking site you
belong to is an attempt to steal your login informa-
tion. So to be safe, never click on a link from an
email that looks like it came from a social network-
ing site — type in the site’s URL manually.
Don’t put your entire work history online. A full
history of everywhere you’ve ever worked can help an
identity thief fill out a loan application. So on sites
like LinkedIn, limit your work history details and/
or restrict access to your information to just those in
Beware of scams. Scammers can gain access to one
of your friend’s accounts (through a phishing attempt
for instance) and then solicit all the friends linked to
the account for money. Never respond with a credit
card number or online payment, even if it looks like
it is from a friend. Call your friend and ask if it’s a
Be careful about giving rea