By Allan Caesar III
Pulse Staff Reporter
It is no secret that social media is a big part of our daily lives; however, the risk of having your information stolen or leaked is a very real threat.
According to The New York Times, in September 2018, 50 million Facebook users had their data compromised, and Sony had a data breach that affected 77 million in 2011.
“If you haven’t had your identity stolen before, you probably will at some point. And I’ve actually had my information stolen from a previous employer. The previous employer’s HR records got hacked,” said Erica Meza, coordinator of Communications at Palo Alto College.
If you want to protect yourself, you should limit what you write down in your biography on your profile. You should never give account information, Social Security numbers, bank information or other sensitive financial information on a social media website or by email. Never add someone who say they a are financial service provider or work for the website you are on, and most importantly, never give anyone your username and password.
Austin King, a PAC alumnus and current student at Texas A&M of San Antonio, said, “I use LastPass to preserve my passwords across all my devices. I use Malwarebytes Anti-Virus software on my computer, as well as Avast.”
LastPass is an add-on for Google Chrome that allows you to store all your passwords in an encrypted safe cloud. Malwarebytes Anti-Virus protects you from malicious malware that contains privacy tracking on your computer. Avast and AVG are free anti-virus software programs that helps detect and remove viruses from your computer.
Amanda Flores, A South Side resident and an alumnus of the University of the Incarnate Word, said that one time she was on Facebook and opened what appeared to be an ad, but it turned out to be a virus in disguise. The virus spread all over her computer. She resolved it by first using Avast and Microsoft’s anti-virus scanners, then Malware Anti-Bytes. She got rid of the last remnants of the virus by using Advance System Care Pro. You can download Malwarebytes, AVG, and Avast at www.download.cnet.com.
If you should get an email or a message on social media from someone who says you have won the lottery, they might tell you that you must pay taxes or a service charge first before you can collect your winnings. They might also ask you to send the money to some well-known insurance company to insure the delivery of your “prize.” Or they may ask you to wire money right away, often to a foreign country. You can go to https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and send them an email to investigate the matter.
Remember, don’t post something on the internet that you would not want anyone to see in public. It could ruin your career and your life.