Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a great way to stay in touch, share photos and broadcast what’s on your mind. Unfortunately they’re also a great way for cyber criminals to find out information about you.

The federal government has provided some tips for safer social networking.

• Check out the privacy and security settings and use them to control who sees what. If someone you don’t know tries to “friend” you, ignore it. There’s no way to be sure they are who they say they are.

• Before you post pictures, think about whether they give away too much information about you. For example, does that shot show your street name or license plate in the background? Avoid geo-tagging photos. Most smartphones and many digital cameras automatically attach the exact location where a photo was taken, which can give away your address or let criminals know that you’re on vacation, making your home a target for break-in.

• Don’t mention things like going away on vacation, big purchases or events that include your address in your status updates.

• Never include banking information – not even the name of your bank.

 Remember, taking simple precautions online can protect you from major headaches down the road.

Courtesy of Newscanada