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United Nations, Parents, Global Days, Social Networks… and Security

Jun 3

It turns out that 1st of June is “Global Day of Parents”. When I was told that last week I thought it was some kind of joke, but then I did some research and it was true! This is the deal: United Nations, that lovely organization composed mainly of dictatorships ;) adopted a resolution (passed by the General Assembly) to create this day. If you still do not believe it you can check the source here. It seems they like spending their time creating a lot of “Global Days”, here is the full list.

To be honest, as I became a father recently I though it was fine, just a new day I could get some gifts… but seriously, what can we do from here? As readers of this blog, you are concerned about security, which is fantastic, and we all have and know of parents that are starting to use Internet (my mother just bought her first tablet last week!) and are not really aware of some of the dangers they can face. Social Networks are the place where most of the Internet users spend their time, so we should start giving a few security tips focused on Social Networks:

  • Don’t share personal information on social networking sites. Never post your phone number, your address or other private information on your Facebook profile, for example. Your friends and family already know that information and, as for the rest of people, well, they don’t need it really…
  • Set strong passwords for your social media accounts. Don’t use any personal information. Otherwise, someone who knows you or can research you online could guess your password. Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. How long do you think it would take one of your Facebook contacts to guess your password if you used your name and date of birth?
  • Use different passwords for each of the online services you use and change them regularly. If you fall victim to an attack and someone steals your Twitter login information, for example, don’t let them also access your Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media accounts you may have.
  • Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Avoid chatting with strangers. Be careful what type of information you share with people you only know from Facebook.
  • If you are using a shared computer, make sure you log off completely from any programs you have accessed using a user name and password. Otherwise, other users could easily access your Facebook or Twitter profiles, etc., and all the information they contain.
  • Don’t provide more information than is necessary on your social media profiles. When creating your user profile, don’t provide more information than is necessary. If you are required to enter private data like your email address, select the option to prevent other users from seeing it.
  • Just as you wouldn’t accept a gift from a complete stranger on the street, don’t accept files or anything else you might be offered on social networking sites. Always use your common sense.
  • Use caution when clicking on links! Cyber-crooks use false news, eye-catching videos, etc. to try to trick users on Twitter and Facebook. If, after clicking a link, you are requested to enter your user name and password… Don’t do it! Many Internet scams use fake websites similar to Twitter or Facebook in an attempt to look genuine.

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