SEATTLE — Social media can be a powerful networking tool, and connects people in unprecedented ways.
But crooks are also using it, to take your money.
Users lost more than $780 million to internet crime last year, the Internet Crime Complaint Center reports. That’s up nearly half from the year before.
So how can you keep yourself safe online?
The Better Business Bureau has these tips:
- Post with care. Avoid sharing private information publicly. Steer clear of posting birthdates, family names and relatives’ information online.
- Check privacy policies. Read and understand how websites use information they collect and be sure it’s never sold to an outside party.
- Keep guard. Games, quizzes and surveys are fun, but if they require entering personal information, don’t respond and stop playing.
- Click with caution. Avoid following links that are unsolicited, even if they appear on a social media page. One wrong click could lead to unwanted sites or add malware to a computer.
- Block the fakes. Beware of fake social media profiles that appear to be using the names of friends. Be cautious about “friending” people.
- Strengthen passwords. Change passwords frequently, at least once every six months. Use long phrases, numbers and a symbol to help prevent hackers gaining access to accounts.