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Expert Tips: Stay Smart on Social Media:

Could a Facebook post about your favorite basketball team endanger your employer’s competitive position?

Unfortunately, yes.  Spies and crooks pore through social media posts seeking hints as to users’ passwords, or the answers to their secret questions.  Post too often about those Cavaliers and a bad guy may crack your password, access your account, and steal sensitive information to his heart’s content.

It happens all the time.

But not to you, if you follow these tips from experts:

Bullet Don’t overshare.  As noted above, nothing you post on Twitter, Instagram, or any other account should ever help a criminal guess your logon info.  There’s a personal consideration here, too; never post anything that could help a predator target your children.

Bullet Turn off GPS.  This is an adjunct to the tip above.  Most of us do a lot of our social sharing from our cellphones, so you should make sure that pictures you snap don’t include location or date data.

Bullet Friend judiciously.  The rule of thumb is to never “friend” anybody on social media unless you know them in real life.  Spies commonly create bogus profiles, friend people in targeted industries, and use social media to glean nuggets of information.

Bullet Keep work separate.  Sure, most folks have a big mixed batch of friends and friendships on their Facebook page.  But if you choose to do this, it’s vitally important to never divulge on social media work-related information.  Doing so could get your fired, or prosecuted.

Bullet The Golden Rule.  Where social media is concerned, that rule is: Once posted on the Internet, nothing ever goes away.  Write something you regret?  You can delete it, but it will always exist somewhere in a cache, to come back and haunt you.

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