Information Technology


Social Media Safety

Don’t expose your activities and personal info on networking sites.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Facebook said that as of June 30, 2012, there were 83 million fake accounts on the site. That alone should make you think twice about what you’re posting online to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, FourSquare, and thousands more.

Be Discreet and Communicate in Generalities

Don’t post information that would expose you to identity theft or malicious threats. For example: Home or business addresses, phone numbers, job titles, birth dates, schedule details, daily routines, and business or family details. It’s a great idea to let your neighbors know you’re headed out on vacation so they can keep an eye on your house or apartment. It’s NOT a great idea to post those vacation plans on public Internet sites.

Remember What you Have Already Said Online

If you mention your pet’s name, nickname, favorite song, movie, TV show, birthday, and other seemingly innocuous info on social media sites, make sure those words or phrases are NOT part of your passwords for other sites. You’re just making it too easy for someone to guess your password. Instead, when creating passwords, use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

Check Your Privacy/Posting Settings

Every social media site has different ways to lock-down or limit the information your share. We can’t cover every single social network, but we can suggest that for any sites you log in to, it’s crucial that you review your account settings, privacy settings, profile info and the site’s privacy policy and terms and conditions.

Since most everyone from age 13 to 113 seems to be using Facebook, we will use that as a starting example.

  • Profile: You can adjust what is seen by complete strangers, control how people can contact you on Facebook, limit who can post to your wall, and even block specific users from seeing your basic profile information. Get the details at Facebook Basic Privacy Controls.
  • Posts: Before you post, look at the audience selector. Use the dropdown menu to choose who you want to share a post with. 
    Options are: Public,  Friends (+ friends of anyone tagged),  Only Me, Custom.
  • Tagging: You can also review tags from friends before they appear on your timeline by turning on Tag Review. Anyone can tag you, but if someone you’re not friends with tags you, you’ll always receive a request to approve the tag before it appears on your profile (timeline).
  • Friends List: Think carefully about who you allow to become your friend. Once you have accepted someone as your friend they will be able to access any information about you (including photographs) that you have marked as viewable by your friends.
  • Apps: Disable options, then open them one by one. It’s better to disable an option until you have decided you do want and need it, rather than start with everything accessible.
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