How to Be Safe Using Social Media

Recent articles on and have made people aware of the most recent in a string of phishing attacks on social media sites. This time the site is Twitter. Messages have been sent to users on Twitter titled “This you?” followed by a link. The link takes users to a fake login site. The username and password entered into this site is not used to log in to Twitter; instead, this gives the attacker your password and username. states that there are 50 million Tweets per day on Twitter and 67% of social media users spend over 6 hours per month on Facebook. This allows more opportunities for hackers and criminals to hack into your profiles and send messages to your followers. The web-criminals can then use this information to log into other sites you use, possibly gaining access to important information such as that relating to credit cards and bank accounts not to mention spam sent to e-mail accounts.

Social Media sites are great networking tools, but it is important to know how to stay safe in order to get the best out of your social media experience.

Here are a few tips for staying safe:

  • If any strange links get sent to your page on a social media site (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, ect.) don’t click on it. Even though your friend is likely the one sending it, their account could have been hacked into. If you happen to click on a strange link and it asks for any type of information (such as log-in info), exit out and don’t give away the info.
  • Delete strange or unfamiliar e-mails, as they are likely to be spam
  • Have different passwords and usernames for each site. Part of the reason why phishing attacks are so dangerous is because people keep similar passwords and usernames for all of the sites they use. If an attacker gets login information for one site, chances are he can figure out the login information for any other site you use, unless your information varies between sites.
  • If you accidently end up giving away information, immediately change the login info (password, especially) to all of the sites you visit.
  • Pay attention to any news about phishing attacks on social media sites. Being aware makes it easier to avoid an attack. For those on Twitter, you can follow ‘Safety’ at for tips on how to stay safe on Twitter, as well as updates on phishing attacks and how to prevent them (or fix things if you’ve fallen victim to one). While you’re using social media sites to build relationships, keep these tips in mind.    Stay safe!

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