More Perspective

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Architect, CISSP, CCNP, GCED

With Facebook and data privacy in the news recently, it’s a great time to think about reviewing your social media presence.  As you probably realize, everything you click on, like, or tweet is recorded.  Assume it’s there forever, and the information could be made available to both authorized and unauthorized users or services.

To be smart with social media, think about the risk/reward equation.  How much information are you willing to list about yourself?  Is there anything posted in your accounts that you might not want the public to see?  It’s good to keep this in mind whether you’re running for President of the United States or are just a member of your local curling club (ok, I’m in Minnesota, we do that for real)!

As a first step, take a look at your social media past.  On Facebook, how many pages have you “liked?”  You might have hundreds!  The more things you like, as you might imagine, the clearer picture you paint of yourself.  Consider going into Facebook under Pages > Liked Pages. There’s a link available called “Review Liked Pages” where you can easily unlike or unsubscribe from Facebook pages.  Also with Facebook and other social platforms, you can run through a privacy review to help limit what information is publicly available about you.

On Twitter, you may have months or years-worth of tweets and accounts that you’re following.  Not interested in a certain TV show or celebrity anymore?  Unfollow the account.  You may even wish to delete your personal tweets that are more than a few months or a year old, since just like Facebook, it paints a glossy picture of who you are to both advertisers and scammers.

Have you taken part in one of those popular online quizzes or sites “just for fun?”  They typically ask for a lot of personal information quite inconspicuously, which can open you up to email spam and scams.  How many of your password reset questions have your friends or family members answered in online quizzes such as a first pet’s name or car?  Yeah, don’t do that!  In the security world, we call this reconnaissance.  By limiting the personal information you share, you not only help yourself, you also help make such campaigns less productive and profitable for the bad guys.

At the end of the day, remember that when a service is “free” –you and your personal information are the commodity that’s being sold.  Your eyes on the screen and your attention are the product of social media sites.  It’s great to share photos and happenings with friends and family.  Just take a few minutes every so often to review your social media past so you can have a trouble-free online future!  A great reference for your family is the “Safe and Secure Online” project from ISC(2) found at 

Think this type of activity doesn’t affect organizations? It does! Do your employees have access to social media while in the office and on your network? Are they surfing while on office WiFi? ePlus provides assessments that help gauge the effectiveness of your current security program and help you better protect your organization. We create custom, integrated security programs through a unique holistic approach centered on culture and technology. Visit or contact us at You can also contact your ePlus Account Executive directly.


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