Experts offer tips on keeping yourself safe online

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by BOB HANSEN / KNSD

KING5.com

Posted on June 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM

The pages of Facebook and MySpace open our world to family and friends, but scam artists, identity thieves and even debt collectors can use it to find personal information.

Rainy Reitman with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says you need to limit the amount of personal information you put on your social sites.

For instance, don't let the network sites have your e-mail password and never use an e-mail linked to your professional life.

"You don't want your potential boss or your current boss necessarily looking at your Facebook page or your MySpace page," Reitman explains.

Some privacy experts don't like the idea of putting your birth date on your Facebook page, but if you think you have to do it, then you should avoid including the year.

"Your date of birth, the exact date of birth in combination with place of birth has been shown to allow individuals your Social Security Number," Reitman explains.

Some sites keep track of where you surf the net, so when you're done looking at your personal pages, clear your computer.

While it may be a social networking site, limit your personal information.

Don't put your actual home address, and if you're going out of town keep it to yourself.

"We recommend if you are going to talk about your vacation, don't list the specific dates that you're going to be gone. Wait till you get back, then put the pictures up," Reitman says.

Bottom line: When you post anything online, ask yourself "would I want my boss to see this, my mother or a complete stranger?"

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