My executive clients know the importance of building a strong and accurate online presence by taking advantage of LinkedIn and other social networking sites, among other routine practices.
But safety and fraud when using these sites are often overlooked or ignored. For a wealth of information on the risks of online job search, including evaluating privacy policies on Websites, check out job-hunt.org’s pages on cyber-safety.
In 10 tips for social networking safety, Microsoft cautions that risks increase as more and more people use these sites. “Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow the traffic.”
Here’s an outline of Microsoft’s 10 best safety practices when using social networks. Go to the blog post for the complete rundown.
1. Use caution when you click links received in messages from your friends on your social Web site.
2. Don’t trust that a message is really from who it says. Hackers break into accounts and send messages that look like they’re from your friends.
3. To avoid giving away e-mail addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your e-mail address book.
4. Type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use your personal bookmarks, to avoid possibly entering your account name and password into a dangerous fake site.
5. Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves routinely practice “social engineering” – creating fake profiles to get information from you.
7. Assume what you write on a social networking site is permanent.
8. Be careful about installing extras on your site. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information.
9. Think twice before you use social networking sites at work.
10. Talk to your kids about social networking sites to be sure they’re using them safely.