October is National Cyber Security Month

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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. What does this mean for you? Here are some tips to help you think about your digital footprint and keep you and your business as secure as possible.

Let’s start with your personal social media presence: what happens when you click POST on Facebook, or send that tweet on Twitter? As soon as you click that button, someone can see it. Maybe you delete it a few seconds later, but chances are, someone saw it. This means a screenshot could have easily been taken or your post may still exist in a cached archive. Even Snapchat posts, which many people believe disappear after a few seconds, can remain alive on the web. Remember, the internet never forgets. Our advice: share with care.

Do you know everyone following you on social media? Most accounts have an option to approve or review your followers in some way to make sure that the only people who see your posts are those who you want to share your posts. Harassment or bullying on social media is only a few keystrokes away, because anonymity is easy to achieve, and the consequences are often minor. Consider restricting your followers, and always report inappropriate or harassing behavior using the appropriate channels.

Limit the personal information you post on social media. Many people use social media to connect with friends and family and share their experiences. Often, this means posting pictures from vacation spots or specific activities when you’re away from home by “checking in.” That beautiful photo from the beach is harmless, right? Maybe not. You can share those memories with friends and family members. However, remember, this puts your current location on the Internet for anyone to see—and know you’re away from home. Thieves have been known to capitalize on this information.

For example, a client was vacationing and posted they were going to an art auction later that day. A malicious person had built a cloned profile using publicly available information (name, company, email address), and was monitoring social media. Using the information that person posted, they spoofed this person’s email to request a wire transfer so that they could buy art. Thankfully, this person’s bank was savvy enough to call for confirmation-- and no harm was done. Keep in mind that the methods of scamming today are sophisticated, and most are socially engineered and tailored to you. Think twice before you post—and know your followers.

Look for more cyber safety tips on World Synergy social media channels throughout October!