This Valentine's Day Share the Love, Not Your Information

  • Feb 7, 2014
  • Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign
Image This Valentine's Day Share the Love, Not Your Information

Like most holidays, Valentine’s Day traditions have extended to the web. With the click of a button, you can deliver flowers and candy, make reservations at a romantic restaurant, or search for that special someone through an online dating service. However, as we rely on the Internet more and more in our interpersonal relationships, what steps are you taking to protect your personal information online?

In the digital age it's easy to share information like photos and videos, as well as passwords and account logins, especially in a romantic relationship. According to a survey by McAfee, more than 50% of people shared their passwords with the person they are in a relationship with and 56% of people snooped on their partner's social media pages and bank accounts. Only 40% of Americans currently protect their phones with a password.

As you celebrate the season of love, remember that sharing isn’t always caring.

 

  • Remember that the Internet is a public resource - Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing. This includes information and photos online and via text messaging. Once it’s out of your hands, it’s out of your control.

 

  • Evaluate your privacy settings - Default settings may allow anyone to see your profile, photos, check-ins, and more, but you can customize your settings to restrict access to only certain people. Sites may change options periodically, so review privacy settings regularly to make sure that your choices are still appropriate.

 

  • Do not use your primary email address in online submissions - Submitting your email address could result in spam. If you do not want your primary email account flooded with unwanted messages, consider opening an additional email account for use online.

 

  • Avoid using debit cards for online purchases - Credit cards usually offer some protection against identity theft and may limit the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying.

 

  • Devote one credit card to online purchases - Consider opening a credit card account for use only online. Keep a minimum credit line on the account to limit the amount of charges an attacker can accumulate.

Visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect for more cybersecurity resources.