Any time you add personal details to your online profile, there is the risk that a scammer may steal them. Though many may seem innocuous, it may only take a few details–your full name and your full date of birth, for instance–to open the door to your online accounts. As well, if your status updates aren’t kept private scammers may watch them to gather details that will let them guess your password or your security question.
The Internet has made life easier for a lot of people, including scam artists. While most online scams are fairly obvious, some of them may be tempting or frightening enough to get you on the hook: a notification that you’ve won a contest, for instance, or a warning that your computer is infected with malware.
Most phishing messages are fairly obvious scams: an e-mail or message asking you to send your password and login to one of your online accounts. Sharing personal details online, however–even talking about things like your job or your hobbies–can lead to you receiving socially engineered or “spear-phishing” messages. Because these have been customized to appeal to you, they can be much more convincing. They may pretend to be from an online service you use, a game you play online or a site you visit regularly.
Use Privacy Settings
Nearly all social networks have tools that allow you limit who can see your profile information and what you post online. At the very least, make sure that your account is not set to “public.”
For the full Tip Sheet for Socializing and Interacting Online, click here.
To view other Tip Sheets by CIRA, click here.