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Social Media and Device Security Tips

Google

The following are tips to keep your security in check with Google:

Facebook

To adjust which apps can access information about you on Facebook: Click the down arrow to the right of your name on your Facebook news feed or timeline. Then, click on Settings >> click on Apps on the left-hand side of the page >> then click on specific apps to see what information they can see, like your email address and birthday. You might also see a note saying the app can post messages to Facebook on your behalf.

Also, consider examining the settings of the Facebook app on your phone. In "Settings & Privacy", you can click on "Privacy Shortcuts" and then click on "Privacy Checkup". Also under "Privacy Shortcuts", you can click on "More Settings" and adjust apps and ads settings.

LinkedIn

Here's how to remove apps that track you: click on the down arrow next to "Me" and below your photo, near the center of the top of your home page. From there, select Settings & Privacy >> Partners and Services >> Permitted Services >> choose "Remove" to the right of apps you don't want tracking you (or choose "Change" if that appears).

Microsoft

Be sure to visit your Privacy Dashboard and change any settings you need to. From there, you can clear out your voice, search, browsing, and location data as well as adjust ad preferences.

Twitter

You can revoke access to apps on Twitter. Start by clicking on your account and selecting Settings and Privacy >> Apps >> choose "Revoke Access" to the right of apps you don't want tracking you.

Phones

Routers

Web Browsers

Smart TVs

Smart TVs are susceptible to viruses and ransomware. Additionally, the privacy settings that they ship with allow for cross-advertising and tracking of your viewing habits. Consumer Reports shows you how to turn off data collection for the following TVs: Android TVs, Amazon Fire TV Edition, LG, Roku, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.

Amazon Echo

Here are some Amazon Echo privacy tips:

Amazon Fire TV

Here are some Amazon Fire TV privacy tips:

Please also visit the social media opt-outs section of the opt-outs page.

Online Security Tips

A great site to start with is YourSecurity.Guide.

Sign up for account breach notifications at Have I Been Pwned? and Firefox Monitor to watch if your passwords and emails have been compromised.

Sign up for a credit-monitoring service. Your insurance company may provide this for free. Mine, AAA, does this.

Avoid connecting too many services to your bank account, because if they are compromised, someone can drain your account. The same holds true for allowing sites to store your credit card info.

Establish an account at ssa.gov. Do this even if you are nowhere near close to examining your Social Security. Establishing the account prevents others from doing so. Maybe even do this for the kids. You can't create the account, though, if you have frozen your credit.

Freeze your credit at all the agencies. Unless you are taking out frequent loans, this is the best protection.

Create an account at reg.usps.gov. I receive an email every day showing me what mail will arrive. Thieves create accounts on your behalf here if you do not.

Do not to use the same password at financial sites, shopping sites, and email. I use a base password and then customize the second half of it based on the site so that I always have a unique password. Do not let your browser store bank and financial passwords, and turn on two-factor authentication. Go to the Google Password Manager and do a password checkup. If you save passwords in Chrome, this will check if any are repeat or compromised passwords.

Do not ever put your real birthdate into any online form unless it is truly necessary. I adjust one part of it so that if stolen from a site, it would not match my SSN record.

I do not use any type of password or account aggregator if possible, in case they are hacked, but they often are recommended.

Turn on MFA (multi-factor authentication) whenever you can. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter, Reddit, your bank, and more support this.

Obtain a PIN from the IRS when you file your taxes. If you file via TurboTax, you cannot get one from them. You can only get IP PINs from the IRS by following these instructions: Retrieve your IP PIN online at the IRS's Get an IP PIN site; or call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490 to have your IP PIN mailed to you. However, this can take up to 21 days.

Use PayPal instead of credit cards whenever possible because someone can't then have your credit card #.

Take the Phishing with Google Quiz. If you have a question on a web address, run it through Google Transparency Report.

Browser extensions to install: uBlock origin, HTTPS Everywhere (Chrome version 90+ has this built in), and Privacy Badger.

Consider a supplemental tracker such as Prey Personal beyond just "find my phone".

Opt out of data sharing via Simple Opt Out.

Delete old sent emails with attachments as they could contain sensitive information you've sent via attached documents. In Apple Mail, choose View > Filter > Enable Message Filter > Only Mail with Attachments; in Gmail search on "has:attachment".