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Use social networks in a secure manner

Social networks sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) facilitate open communication and the creation of virtual networks where people can exchange with friends the world over. It would be natural to think that “virtual friends” are also friends in the physical world, but is that really the case? In these virtual communities, a stranger can easily pass himself off as a friend and gather personal information about you for fraudulent purposes.

This is why we recommend you never include the following information about yourself in your profile:

  • phone numbers
  • address
  • date of birth
  • employer name
  • spouse and children’s names
  • any other piece of personal information

This information can be used by scammers to steal your identity.

Private or public profile?

When you create your profile, we recommend you do not accept the site’s default security settings.

Instead, ensure that your profile is private so your information is not available to all Facebook or MySpace members, for example, and do not automatically allow virtual friends to e-mail you. Read and understand the Security Settings and Privacy Policy of each social network site you use.

Be aware that all information you publish on a social networking site automatically becomes property of the site. By accepting the site’s terms of use, you accept that your photos, postings, e-mail address and date of birth can be sold to third parties.

If you decide to go on a social networking site, follow our advice and assume that, no matter how many precautions you take, whatever you post is available to the entire Web community, including cybercriminals operating on these networks.


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