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Internet Security Experts Warn Of Social Media Dangers This Holiday Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- 'Tis the season for sharing, but when it comes to social networking, some people may share too much about their whereabouts and the gifts they'll give.

CBS 2's Dave Carlin has a status update on social media safety for the Christmas and gift-giving season.

Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming a standard part of our everyday lives, but Internet safety experts say some people put too much information in cyberspace.

Long Island resident Howard Bernstein, for example, told Carlin he checks Facebook more often this time of year, happy to see festive photos and what his friends are up to.

See Also: The 5 Best Gifts For New York Food Lovers

"Cyber-savvy criminals are very savvy during Christmastime, and they're looking for things like that," said Hemanshu Nigam, Internet security expert. "Instead of casing the neighborhood, they're casing the online neighborhood."

Just like you lock the doors to your home, secure your social networking profiles.

Not everyone on your list of friends needs to know you're going out of town – and that your home will be empty for days.

If you're searching for online deals on sites like Twitter and Facebook, be wary of clicking on links. Even if forwarded by a friend, take a second look. It could appear to be the deal of the season, but scammers can create pages that look just like the real thing – and you won't what you bargained for.

"The next thing you know, you have a virus in your computer," said Nigam. "And that bad guy owns your computer, and that's not what you need during the holiday season, when you should be enjoying Christmas and the holidays, and the New Year coming."

Another tip: If you plan to give to charities this holiday season, beware of anyone who asks for money on social media sites. Most reputable charities do not solicit donations online or over the phone.

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