Panama City- Identity theft remains one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
Guy Garrett, a cyber security expert and an Assistant Professor from Gulf Coast State College says it's up to you to educate yourself on the ever-changing security settings for web-sites such as Facebook.com.
Garrett recommends familiarizing yourself with “help” sections to arrange your privacy settings.
One tip? Avoid the “public” option on social networking site which allows anyone to see your pictures and posts.
"If you're one of these people that puts your name and address or where you were born out there, that definitely then gives a cyber hacker or cyber criminal something they can take and leverage," said Garrett.
Your most important defense is protecting your password.
"Make it random. The more random, the better."
Garrett recommends using 16 characters, including numbers symbols, and a mixture of upper-case and lower-case.
"Criminals typically want to hit an easy target. So, if you make it difficult for them to hack. Something like a complex 16 character password it could take hundreds of years to crack," said Garrett.
You can also stay up-to-date on the latest scams through helpful Facebook pages like "FaceCrooks".
Experts also warn not to use the same password for every web-site, otherwise a criminal that hacks one of your accounts, might be able to hack them all.