8 Networking No-no's

Things you shouldn't give social sites

By Bob Hansen
|  Monday, Jun 14, 2010  |  Updated 5:33 PM CDT
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A simple warning to save you time, money and hassle.

A simple warning to save you time, money and hassle.

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Social networking sites are never going to be 100 percent secure so privacy experts say you need to learn the no-no's.

"People believe they're communicating with a very small group of close friends," said Rainey Reitman with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse but, "inevitably they give away a little more information than they meant to."

So the Privacy Clearinghouse is introducing a list of the top 8 things you shouldn't give social networking sites:

  1. Access to your email account. During the registration process, social networks often solicit a new user to provide an email address and account password so they can access the user's email address book. To be safe, don't provide this information. Some sites will use that information to solicit "friends" to join.
  2. An email address associated with your professional life. Never provide a work-associated email to a social network, especially when signing up.
  3. Your exact date of birth, especially in combination with your place of birth. Your exact date of birth may be useful to an identity thief and could be used to predict your Social Security number.
  4. Your browsing history. Delete cookies, including flash cookies, every time you leave a social networking site.
  5. Vacation plans. Don't publicize vacation plans, especially the dates you'll be traveling.
  6. Public posts with your address, phone number or email address. Scam artists as well as marketing companies may be looking for this kind of information.
  7. Compromising, sensitive, embarrassing or inflammatory pictures or posts. Whatever goes on a network site might eventually be seen by people not in the intended audience. 
  8. Money. Be skeptical of request for money, even if they are from contact you know and trust. If a contact's account is compromised, a scam artist may use his or her name and account to attempt to defraud others through bogus money requests.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says the strongest tools you have to defend your personal privacy on social networking sites are common sense, caution and skepticism.

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