PROTECTING YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Criminals can use personal information from your social media accounts to commit identity theft. They can also use the information in ‘social engineering’ calls, which are when a scammer gains your confidence because they’ve found out a little bit about you.

A criminal can gather different pieces of information about you from places like Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram and use it to create a profile of you, and use that for malicious purposes.

What not to share on social media

Personal details. Don’t publish your date of birth, passport, drivers licence, financial information or even the names of your children, partner or pets.

Address. Never share information or images that reveal your home address and protect postal box locations too.

Phone number. The people that you know should already know how to contact you.

Location. Never share information or images that identify where you are, especially dates that you’ll be away on holiday or travelling for work. This could let criminals know when to break into your house.

Private events. If you’re attending or hosting a private event, don’t share the details.

Personal images. Only share images that you would feel comfortable if they were seen by a lot of people. What you share on the Internet could be available forever, to anyone.

Safe social media practices

  • Only connect with people you know.
  • Change your privacy and security settings so you only share information with people you know.
  • Use strong passwords and Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) across all your social media accounts.

CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING

Which of the following is ok to share on social media?

Date of birth

Incorrect. You should never share your date of birth on social media. A cyber-criminal could use it to steal your identity.

Where you are

Incorrect. You should never share information that identifies where you are. That includes dates that you’ll be away on holiday or travelling for work.

Recent purchases

Incorrect. Don't post to social media your recent purchases. Banks sometimes ask specific questions about recent transactions when customers contact them, as part of confirming their identity before a call can go ahead. If someone on social media knows several of your recent purchases, they could use this information for malicious reasons.

None of the above

Correct. Never share personal information about yourself on social media because it could help a criminal steal your identity.