Use caution when sharing on social media

You may not know how your personal information is being used, shared or even sold in our digital society. This data can be stored indefinitely, and our personal information can be used in both beneficial and malicious ways.

Data breaches are common and can happen any time. You are the best defense in securing your personal information by owning your online presence. Before you choose to share information online, think about how that information may be collected, stored and reused.

Below are some cybersecurity tips for staying safe and private online:

  • Do not share your personal information: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites, especially in online quizzes asking for information. This can also serve as answers to common security questions such as the first street you lived on or your high school mascot. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends and various groups. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to steal your identity and access your data.
  • Check your security and privacy settings: Understand and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your identity and online experience. Information is routinely added to trojansecure.usc.edu on how to maintain the latest privacy and security settings on social networks.
  • Only accept friends and followers you know: Data harvesters and cybercriminals sometimes pose as a friend or follower so they can scan your profile and share your data. Some red flags may include a request from someone:
    • you don’t know
    • you don’t share mutual friends
    • with limited account history
    • with limited personal content
  • Use unique and complex passphrases for each account: Having separate passphrases for every account helps thwart cybercriminals. A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 16 characters long. Consider adding symbols, numbers, spaces, or upper- and lowercase letters, for additional security.
  • Keep devices and apps current with the latest software updates: Keep all software, operating systems (mobile and PC) and apps up-to-date to protect data loss from infections and malware.

Report any suspicious accounts or behavior to security@usc.edu.

To learn more about staying safe and private online, visit TrojanSecure@usc.edu. You can also follow TrojanSecure on USC’s Slack.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi David,

    You caught us! We see you’re a Lord of the Rings fan,too! Thanks for reading and staying safe on social media.

    Anne Silva
    Manager, Communications
    ITS Engagement, Change & Portfolio Management

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