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Do You Know Who Your True “Friends” Are?

Posted by the Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign.
Social media presents both opportunities and dangers

More than half of all Americans have accounts on one or more social network  like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. Even here at DHS we are using social media to share information and engage with the public.

While social media is a great way to communicate and share information with friends and family, there are real dangers from hackers and cyber criminals. A stranger online should be treated in the same way as a stranger in real life. Unfamiliar “friends” or connections on social networks are not likely your true friends. Worse, they could be ill-intentioned people who use social networking sites to target or collect personal information.

Whether on social networks or web connected video games, follow these simple security tips from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team:
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post: Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule or routine. If your trusted friends post information about you, make sure the information is not more than you would be comfortable sharing with strangers.
  • Be wary of strangers: The internet makes it easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives. If you interact with people you do not know, be cautious about the amount of information you reveal.
  • Be skeptical: Don't believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information about various topics, including their own identities.
  • Evaluate your settings: Take advantage of a site's security and privacy settings and review them regularly to make sure that your choices are still appropriate.
Stop.Think.Connect. Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.

For more information on the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign, please visit
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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