People addicted to social media mostly end up sharing personal details, like photos (own and those of family/friends), contact numbers, email IDs and even addresses, including map location. Some brave ones even share ID cards saying nonchalantly ‘I don‘t have anything to hide'. They are unaware of the risks they may create not only for themselves but for their family and friends. Once you share your personal detail online, it is quite easy for a hacker, or any criminal who may be watching you, to use this information to make a profit either by duping you or by selling your details.
Another reason is that when you send a message to someone who is not following security practices, you can still be spied upon through communication devices. Especially, those brave hearts, who share their IDs on social media, should know that once their identity touches something, there is a chain of events that can be easily followed by spies, hackers and the government, everywhere. Here are some things that we need to avoid, especially in cyber-space.
No Over-exposure: Refrain from sharing each and every moment of your life on social media. This is because you never know who is keeping an eye on you. By sharing photos of your family’s vacation, you are making the world (robbers!) aware that there is no one at your home. The same thing applies when you share your location on social media, which may even endanger lives of your near and dear ones (as some attacker would know that they are alone). Or by posing with your lavish spends (like an expensive SUV or a luxury item), you are attracting the tax authorities. And there should be a strict no for uploading photos of your IDs, credit or debit cards or even your boarding pass on social media. Think twice about what is more important to you—safety, security and, thus, peace of mind or showing off.
Don’t Share: The majority of mobile phone-users in our country still think that their bank manager has a lot of free time and is so worried that he/she is personally calling to make sure that their account or card remains active. What he or she just needs are personal details, like ATM card number (which banks already know) or personal identification number (PIN) and the one-time pass-code (OTP). Some, who share such details for sure, will find money transferred from their bank accounts within seconds. Legitimate service-providers never ask for personal information online or via email or over phone. So, never share your card number, card verification value (CVV), PIN or OTP, especially over the phone.
Be Careful While Opening Attachments: Not all attachments are sent, or shared, with good intentions. Be careful about opening any email attachment sent by unknown persons or entities. Some browsers, like Chrome, allow you to open the attachment within its interface without downloading. For messengers or chat apps, like WhatsApp, I would suggest that you disable auto-download entirely. This will not only save your precious data, but also protect you from downloading unwanted files on your mobile phone. In WhatsApp, go to settings > data > storage usage. Here, under media auto-download, you can unselect all types of files, when using mobile data or Wi-Fi. This allows you to decide which attachment to download.
Avoid using Flash: While the web is moving away from Flash, one of the most insecure pieces of software ever written, many people are still using it. Flash has lots of holes that can be easily picked up by hackers to steal data from your computer. So, try to get away from websites that need you to install Flash. Also change security settings in your browsers that will disallow Flash to run automatically.