How to stay safe on social media

by Leeds Building Society

Social media has become part of everyday life for many of us. Whether you use it to keep in touch with friends or to follow your favourite brands you should learn how to stay safe on social media.

We’ve put together some tips to help you avoid ever increasing scams and identity thefts taking place on the likes of Facebook and Twitter every day. 

Age is just a number

Avoid adding in your date of birth when you set up your social media accounts. If you do add your date of birth ensure it's hidden on your profile. Fraudsters can uses this data to try and crack passwords.

Thieves beware

Don’t tell the world you’re not home. We all enjoy a bit of bragging on holiday but remember your status updates and posts you are tagged in can be seen by more than just your friends. Rather worryingly burglars use social media to scout out empty houses. Many home insurance companies warn against this too as it may affect your claim. 

Check your privacy settings 

Review your settings so that your posts are only seen by friends rather than the world! But remember to still be careful with what you post as it can be shared by others.    

Think before you post

Fraudsters will trawl for children’s names, pet’s names, favourite team’s… anything that could form memorable answers or passwords for your accounts.

Click with caution

Be careful of what you click on through social media. You may be directed to a fraudulent or malware infected website.

Getting to know you

An obvious one, but only accept friend requests from people you know. Fraudsters may clone the social media profiles of real accounts too; if you’re unsure of the profile you should contact your friend directly by another method.

Password protected

Remembering and keeping your password safe can be an onerous task. You can use a password locker manager or make your password long and obscure with some special characters in the mix. It’s always good practice to update it regularly too.

You can also set up two factor verification on most social accounts now. Add in your mobile number and you’ll be sent a code if you log in from a new device. It adds that extra layer of protection.

Take these steps and you can enjoy social media safe in the knowledge that you’re protected.

Action to take

If you think you have been the victim of fraud you should report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit the ActionFraud website.

If you suspect fraudulent activity on your account with us please report it to us immediately on 0113 225 7777.

Take Five

There's also lots of advice on the Take Five website. Take Five is a national campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK which offers straight-forward and impartial advice on financial fraud prevention.

Did you know that we’re on social media too?

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This information does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek independent  advice if you have any questions or queries.