Stay Safe Blog Series: Part One – Social Media

Fraud and security of personal data is currently a hot topic and has become a huge issue as everything turns digital. So we’re running a three part blog series with our resident Fraud & ID Director at Noddle, John Cannon to help you understand how you can best protect your personal details and information.

Social Media

Over 2 billion people worldwide use social networks to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues and share content, photos and experiences. However with all the information sharing, especially that which is personal, it carries a high degree of risk. These sites are a haven for cyber-criminals who will harbour the information to steal people’s identity and commit further fraudulent activity. while there’s a lot you can do to help stay safe on social media, here are three vital things you should keep in mind when using social media.

Be password smart. In order to individually barricade your social media accounts, use different passwords for each one and make them strong. Try using a simple memorable phrase, such as, ‘My parents have 4 cats & a dog’, and shortening it to something like: ‘Mph4c&ad’. With a simple phrase like that, you have a really strong password. For additional security, try adding the last two letters of each site to the start of the password, i.e. for Facebook – okMph4c&ad

Avoid specifics. Alongside locking down your privacy settings, it’s also useful to keep your details to a bare minimum. For example, don’t include all of your name – stick to first and last or even an abbreviated version. It is also important to take precautions about your birthday and education details being displayed. By combining your birthday and key schooling dates, fraudsters can work out your age and this is one of the key pieces of information they can use against you.

Consider what you’re liking. This is particularly important when you ‘like’ or engage with local amenities such as pubs, shops and gyms. It doesn’t take much for a fraudster to spot a trend in the geography of where a number of your likes are going. This basic information combined with other information from a social media account can give a fraudster everything they need to know to find you on the electoral register, where they’d be able to access even more specific data about you.