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Safe use of Social Networking

Social networking sites (such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter) are fun to use and increasingly popular. They give people a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, network with business contacts, and find people who share similar interests.

On the other hand, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when using social networking sites. The feeling of privacy people have when communicating online sometimes leads them to post information about themselves that can turn out to be embarrassing or harmful. Social networking sites have also been targeted by cybercriminals who take advantage, for their own profit, of the trust on which social networking is based.

Dangers to Keep in Mind When Using Social Networking Sites

  • Identity Theft - Profiles on social networking sites often include things like age, date of birth, email address, phone number, and mother’s maiden name. Identity thieves can use these facts to guess passwords, or even to masquerade as someone else. Since secure programs (like those used for doing business online) often use personal authentication questions to verify identity, revealing too many facts about yourself on a social networking site may make it easier for thieves to gain online access to your credit card, banking, and other secure accounts.  
  • Malware - Social networking sites allow users to share software applications, download images, and view video clips. These are great features, but criminals and spammers can use them to infect your computer with malware (malicious software, which includes computer viruses, Trojan horses, adware, and spyware). It is easy for a cybercriminal to pose as a member of a social networking site, then to send his “friends” a message containing a link that will silently download harmful software when it is opened.
  • Impersonation - Social networking sites typically do not authenticate new members. That means the people you meet on a site may not be who they claim to be. Criminals and mischief makers can also copy photos and information from your profile, and use it to masquerade as you—either online or offline (for instance, by creating a fake ID in your name).
  • Social Engineering - The information gathered from social networking sites can help criminals seem plausible when they contact you or your company. Gathering lots of information on people who work at a particular firm, for instance, might help a criminal to pose as an HR professional within that company. When the criminal calls or emails employees asking for confidential information, they are more likely to assume that the request is legitimate.

Please note that Urban Partnership Bank will never solicit you for personal private information outside of the course of business that you initiate. If you receive an email from Urban Partnership Bank or any other financial institution asking for verification of personal information, make sure you validate that request by calling Urban Partnership Bank Customer Service regarding the request.

If you have questions, please contact us at*

*Do not send personal or account information unsecured via email. Go to Urban Partnership Bank’s Secure Email portal in Online Banking for more information.