Hastings Mutual is an insurance company, and the idea of insurance usually makes people think of something necessary yet boring, and something that has to be done in person. In other words, not like social media at all.
Hopefully by now you’re a follower of Hastings Mutual’s Facebook page, and maybe you’ve seen us on LinkedIn too. We work hard to make sure all our interactions with viewers online are informative, entertaining, and most especially safe. You’ve read about ways to keep your identity protected and tips to avoid hackers. But what about your social sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn?
Though it might not be the popular new social media site any longer, Facebook is by far the most popular, with 2.3 billion active users (people who have logged in within the past 30 days). That makes it a big target for hackers and identity thieves, who have attacked Facebook before.
If even Facebook is vulnerable, you’ll need to make sure you reduce your own risk. Here are a few simple ways you can stay safe when you’re on social:
With a single button click, you can add new connections to your social media accounts. Friends of friends are suggested to you all the time. LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) accept invitations from everyone who wants to join them on LinkedIn. It can be a good way to expand the number of people you know — if everyone is honest about who they are. Someone who’s just looking for data on you or others you’re connected to can take advantage of a “friendship.”
Showing pictures of your Hawaii vacation is great… after your vacation is over and you’re back home. If you talk about the trip and the wrong person discovers you’re out of town for a week, that makes you vulnerable. You can share your location to let people know where you are every time you post, though that can be risky. Also remember that sometimes you’re sharing your location even if you don’t want it shared, since many social media sites, as well as camera apps, automatically apply location data unless you turn it off.
If there’s someone online who isn’t worth your time on Facebook, unfriend and block that person. You’ll stop seeing their posts, and they’ll never know you left them behind. It’s a good way to protect yourself from potential hackers, but also from anyone that makes you uncomfortable.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and every social media site is supposed to be a place where you have fun, connect with friends, and maybe even conduct a little business (if you have a company, are you posting regularly on your Facebook page?). Social media shouldn’t be a place where you feel unsafe. Sure, you can add friends and tell people you’re headed out of town as often as you like, but if you ever suspect someone who’s not really interested in you is trying to connect, block that person. Keep yourself safe online so you can stay in touch with people who are important to you.
If you’re a business owner, there’s Hastings Mutual insurance designed for your company’s online presence. Ask your local independent insurance agent about cyber liability coverage to help protect your business from hackers and thieves.
The Mutual Understanding blog and Hastings Mutual videos are made available for educational purposes only. The information referred to is not an official company statement, corporate policy, or offer of coverage. Refer to your insurance policy for specific coverage. There is no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Please contact your local independent insurance agent with further questions and for more details on any insurance policy-related information you read here.
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It’s an old cliché but it’s a good rule for the internet: If it looks too good to be true, it is.
Hastings Mutual Insurance Company
404 E. Woodlawn Ave.
Hastings, MI 49058
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