Tags: identity theft, keep safe on web while traveling, reputation online, reputation.com, facebook, twitter
It used to be that before you left for vacation, you made sure the house was being looked after, the alarm was set, the plants watered, the mail and paper held. Today, you need to also make sure your internet security is in order. But this actually begins well before you are heading to the airport.
To find out how we can best protect ourselves against the latest threats, we went to our friends at Reputation.com an award-winning tech company headquartered in Silicon Valley.
The company was founded by Michael Fertik, its CEO, who has been lauded as the world's leading cyberthinker in digital privacy and reputation.
Below, you'll find their very valuable tips for staying safe not only while on the road, but wherever you are. Don't leave home without reading them.
FarewellTravels: With the holidays upon on, is there anything NEW we should know about keeping ourselves safe while traveling?
Reputation.com: There's an interesting survey that found 80% of burglars say they check social media when deciding which houses they are going to rob. So make sure you are not posting personal information that will make you vulnerable to not only burglars but also identity thieves. Post pictures and status notifications AFTER you have returned from vacation, not before.
FarewellTravels: What about protecting our homes even when we're not away? Anything we can do on the internet to keep us safe?
Reputation.com: It’s important to remember that anything you contribute to the web is exposing you. Your social media footprint definitely is your announcement to the world of what you own, where you are and the fact that you are vulnerable when you least expect it.
Columbia University released a study that revealed 100% of the people they surveyed shared either more or less then they thought they were sharing on Facebook based on their misunderstanding of what their Facebook settings actually achieve.
FarewellTravels: Are there any new cyberspace crimes we should be aware of?
Reputation.com: It is documented that 6 out of 7 times with a name and an e-mail address alone, you can find someone’s 9-digit social security number. The e-mail address is mashed together with other information available online to develop a robust and often very intimate digital profile of an individual. To minimize this risk, use multiple e-mail addresses to split up your life so if one thing does leak it is not connected to other parts of your life.
Also, browse the Internet in Privacy Mode. It can reduce your risk simply by reducing the amount of information tied to a specific e-mail address. That may mean you have to log-in every time, but it’s better anyway.
Lastly, be very careful about the apps you download on social networks and on your phone. That dinosaur app for your kid is broadcasting info on where you search, what you buy, where you live, and so on back to the mothership.
FarewellTravels: What do we do if we're in Nepal and find out someone attacked us online some way?
Reputation.com: Immediately change your passwords and username and notify what ever system has been hacked. The best thing to do is be cautious in advance—change passwords frequently, use secure passwords, use secure and private browsers.
Anything else you would like to draw our attention to?
Reputation.com: A burglar could be in your circle of “friends.”
When you’re just starting out on Facebook or Twitter, it’s tempting to accept each and every friend or follow request you receive. On Twitter specifically, if you don’t have your Tweets protected, anyone will be able to follow you and see your updates. If you’re concerned about privacy protection on Twitter, be sure to set your account to protect your Tweets, and only accept followers you know and trust.
Facebook users occasionally receive friend requests from people they don’t know or aren’t sure of. On Facebook, it’s never a good idea to accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. When these unknown people have access to your profile, they can see personal information like photos and updates. This makes you vulnerable.
Use social media wisely, and avoid making the following mistakes:
• Accepting all friend and follower requests
• Allowing untrustworthy third-party apps to gain access to your personal information
• Posting status updates that reveal sensitive personal information
• Sharing inappropriate photos or videos
• Losing control of your friends and followers lists
You can still enjoy social media, but do it in a responsible and secure way and in a way that benefits your personal reputation.