Please note: some of the links in this post are available through Blue’s trusted third-party vendor. Other links have been provided to you as a resource. Please visit links at your own discretion and remember to always use caution when clicking third-party hyperlinks.

Owning your online presence

Week one of National Cyber Security Awareness Month was very successful! We have over 200 members reading tips on how they can stay safe online and protect their personal information. Let’s see if we can double that this week!

For our second week of Cyber Security Awareness, we want to bring focus to owning your online presence. Owning your online presence is actively managing your privacy and staying current with new ways to stay safe online such as using available tools – like privacy and security settings – to manage who sees the things you post online and with whom you share information.

Follow these quick tips for a safer experience that prevent unwanted intruders within your personal accounts!

  • Tip #1 - Lock down your mobile and online banking

    NEVER, ever share your online/mobile banking credentials with anyone else. These are the keys to your financial kingdom, and even the slightest slip, can potentially leave you exposed for unauthorized use of your account. Never write your password down or store it electronically without another password to protect it!

    Don’t be scared to change your password – every six months is a great rule of thumb.

  • TIP #2 - Be aware of your digital footprint

    Everything, from what you post on social media and your browsing, to the information organizations collect about you leaves a digital footprint. In fact, most social media sites have language in their disclosures that state what your post…they own.

    The things you do online make an impact offline – including compromising your employment or even legal implications such as cyberbullying and harassment. You can create a strong and positive online reputation by taking steps to better manage your privacy and protect your personal information.

  • TIP #3 - Limit your social visibility

    Social media is an excellent place to connect with family and friends. It’s also an excellent place for cybercriminals to hack unsuspecting accounts with easy-to-obtain personal information. Sites like Facebook and Instagram allow you to personally manage your visibility to others outside of your “friend network”, decreasing the chance of unwanted views of your profile.

    Click here to visit Facebook’s official support site and learn how to limit your visibility.

    Even when you take precautions to limit your visibility, it’s important to remember your friends may not have done the same. Any content they post, such as a party invite to your home address, can become part of your digital footprint. It can be scary to feel vulnerable to this type of exposure, so encourage friends and family to do that same by limiting their visibility on social media. Remember, awareness is the first step in helping safeguard your information!

  • TIP #4 - Share with care

    In the same respect as friends sharing information about you, think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.

    Even sharing information about where you’re going on vacation or that you’re not home, can expose you to offline risk such as a burglary at your home.

  • TIP #5 – Limit third-party shared information

    Many website and mobile apps use Facebook to collect information about you, such as your purchase history or location. Apps include third-party online games, and even pass-through logins to what is a seemingly safe application. Once you allow access, these merchants now own much of your personal information.

    While many of these merchants can be legitimate businesses, many others are not and will jump at the chance to sell or even exploit what you authorized to give them. Your information has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. Take the time to read each disclosure thoroughly and even research the app or business before authorizing your Facebook information.


    BONUS TIP!

    Some merchants ask for more information that what is required such as phone number, birthdate, etc. You can often deselect these points of information and still have access to the third-party app.