Social media sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, are quite popular with most people and a very convenient way of staying in touch with others through personal messages, pictures and even videos.  These sites are going to continue to grow in popularity, and that means the risks associated with the utilization of them will also increase as well.  A good thing to always keep in mind is that many criminals, including hackers, identity thieves and spammers, continually monitor online activity.  With that being said, read on for 10 tips that will help to ensure your protection while using the different sites.

1)   Thoroughly evaluate each site that you are considering joining.   Go over the privacy policy very carefully and see if posts would be monitored.

2)   Only accept friend requests from folks that you know and trust.  Identity thieves set up fake profiles and prey on unsuspecting users……be alert!

3)   Getting on the sites while you are at work is not a very good idea.  Your boss may be monitoring your activity while you are supposed to be working.

4)   Think twice about posting certain things about your personal life on a site, such as when you were born, where you live and how old you are.  Hackers tend to look for this information and then attempt to hack into financial accounts.

5)   Proceed with extreme caution when it comes to links that are in messages that came from your friends on a site.  It would be best to just not click on any of them.

6)   Always type the exact address of the site right on your browser.  You risk giving your password and name to a fake site if you were to click onto a link that is in an email or on another site.

7)   Remember that every single thing that you have posted on a site is definitely permanent and anyone who is on the Internet can get a hold of it quite easily.

8)   Don’t be too trusting when it comes to messages from your friends.  If you have even the slightest doubt about whether or not a message is from a friend, get in touch with them in some other way to avoid potential hackers.

9)   Use good common sense when discussing social media sites with your children.  Make sure that they understand all the bad things that could happen and to always, always monitor their activity while using the sites.

10)  Stay up-to-date on any viruses that happen to be circulating on a particular site.  When in doubt, do not click on anything that appears to be suspicious.

It is a fact that social media sites are here to stay and will continue to be frequently used for many years to come.  Thus, the tips that you have just read will go a long way towards keeping you safe whenever you are making use of the different sites.

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