HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – We share our lives on social media, but sometimes the line between sharing and over-sharing is hard to know.
If you’re active on social media, you know what it’s like to be bombarded daily with suggestions for new apps to download, new websites to explore, and requests to be someone’s “friend”. that you know or not.
All of this helps explain why cybersecurity experts warn that the more frequently you click “yes,” the more frequently your personal information is at risk.
âWe don’t really have online privacy at this point. I mean, if you want to participate in society, you’re online, âsays Bill Gardner, assistant professor of cyber forensics and security at Marshall University.
Being online – a lot – is for most of us now just a part of our daily life.
âIf you know you’re looking for a job, you’ll be on LinkedIn. You have businesses on TikTok. Snapchat is a publicly traded company. There’s no way to get past it at this point, âGardner says.
While it can be fun to boost your social media presence and connect with others, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Steve Lampo says it can be risky:
âHaving more friends or contacts is not inherently bad, but it can increase the risks. The reason I’m saying this is that you can have great operational security on your side. You can be very sure of your own way of doing things, but if someone chooses to target you, they can attack you through one of your friends. ”
So what can you do to protect yourself? Experts say a lot of things just involve common sense: do you really want to be friends with someone you have no connection with?
Others require you to think outside the box – get into the mind of a con artist.
âYou really have to control what you share. In particular, your social media sites will have a bunch of profile settings that will allow you to share with certain groups. It’s good practice to make this as restrictive as possible, âLampo said.
Most of the users we spoke with said they keep their settings moderately private.
âI’m not worried that people will see music videos, music videos that I share or that I like cool stories or anything like thatâ¦ but when it comes to my personal information, yes,â Benjamin said. Schelling, social media user.
âMost of my stuff is placed where my friends can see it,â said John Wells, a social media user.
Experts agree, pooling your interests and personal information in the digital world makes it easier for hackers to take control of your account.
Example? Your favorite photo of your pet:
âThey might understand what your dog looks like. They could determine your age. Depending on your dog’s name or where you work, he might be trying to guess passwords. How many people have their dog’s name as a password? I can’t have a new dog all the time, âGardner said.
In addition to hacking, being outspoken on social media can also create problems. Especially for school-aged children with social media accounts.
“They’re allowed to say comments like maybe ‘I’m not happy with Huntington High School’ or ‘I don’t like Cabell-Midland’ or whatever,” said Joedy Cunningham, executive director of high schools and Cabell County Schools Post-Secondary.
It is at the heart of a US Supreme Court case heard on April 28e after a young girl was kicked out of school for a Snapchat rant, including repeatedly using the “F-Bomb” in an off-campus post when she failed to make it to the school cheerleading team.
Cunningham said students still enjoy free speech, but there are limits to what is acceptable.
âNot a lot, but a few times we’ve had situations where students put things on social media, which was a more serious situation that caught my attention,â Cunningham said.
What’s more, social media posts have also cost people their jobs according to a local recruiting agency – and it’s happening more and more frequently.
âAlthough Adecco does not use social media to make a pre-hire decisionâ¦ Some of our associates have been released from their assignments because of something they posted on social media, which he said. it’s a comment or photos they’ve posted, âsaid Melinda Brooks, Adecco branch manager.
The essentials when it comes to social media?
âBe careful who you are friends with. Don’t be friends with everyone on social media, âGardner says.
Watch the video below for the full interview with Bill Gardner, Assistant Professor of Cyber ââForensics and Security at Marshall University.