The online community created by social media platforms can provide several rewards – new friends, entertainment, education – but along with that can raise the concern for privacy risks. It is smart to have limits as to what is revealed and to whom.
Here are some social media privacy best practices:
- Be discreet – You don’t have to fill in every field when creating your profile. Also, don’t post information about your vacation plans, interior of your home etc., things that might make you more attractive to scam artists or thieves.
- Think before you share – Remember that things you share could very well be shared outside your intended audience. Ask yourself “what would my parents, teachers, colleges, current or future employer, lender, law enforcement etc. think about this?” Protect your “e-reputation”.
- Enlist your friends – Real friends will care about your reputation and respect your privacy. If someone has posted something in their own social media account that could affect you, ask them to remove it.
- Smaller is often safer – Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know just to build your audience. You may not know them well enough to trust them which could increase risk that your privacy and security could be compromised.
- Lock intruders out – Use every safety precaution to keep others out of your account. Set strong passwords, use a different password for each social media account, and lock your phone so a password is required.
- Keep your whereabouts to your self – Telling your audience that you are out of town, at the airport, or on a two-week vacation could put you at risk for burglary, stalking etc.
- Resist temptation – Don’t click on unknown links, which could be designed to infect your computer with a virus or data stealing spyware.
By: Brenda Langdon