8 Tips to Stay Safe on Social Media Sites

15 02 2011

Here are 8 recommended tips to help you stay safe while enjoying social media:

  1. Don’t post that you will be or are away on a trip – would you put up a notice around town that you are out of town, and that your home is unoccupied?  Of course not.  So, don’t do it online either – now you’re broadcasting to the world, and not just to the local burglars.
  2. Don’t post pictures while you are traveling – same as above.  Wait until you get home to post about your trip.
  3. Don’t include the year for your birthday as your complete birthday is one of the key pieces of information for your identity.
  4. Don’t include your home address, marital status, birthday or other personal information on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a business networking site, and this personal information is not necessary or relevant.
  5. Check your Privacy Settings on all of your social media accounts as they keep changing the default settings.
  6. Be careful about using 3rd party applications on Facebook – they gain access to a lot of your personal profile information including your Friends list.
  7. Monitor photos that others post of you, especially when they tag you.  You may not want that uncompromising photo from high school, college or that wild New Year’s Eve party out there for the world to see.  In Facebook, you can remove tags, and you can nicely ask your Friends to remove the photo.
  8. Monitor your children’s activity on social media sites, not just to protect them from predators (which is, of course, a major concern), but also to protect their future reputation. Companies are doing more and more background searches of potential candidates as well as of their existing employees.  It is very difficult to remove inappropriate and damaging information and photos, especially from years ago.  Chances are our children are not mature and aware enough of what is appropriate and what is not – they do not yet have our years of experience, and therefore, cannot see how their actions today will affect their future.  We are what we post, and it is important to protect one’s reputation, and that of our children.



2 responses

10 03 2011
Jen Turi

Great points Stuart. And you want to get scared – watch this: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=7621105 Then imagine you and your friends being out, on a trip or at your house for a party and one of them posts a picture from their GPS enabled device. This takes monitoring pictures posted by friends to a whole new level.

23 03 2011
Tony Elliott

good common sense advise..I am self employed and recently began using Linkedin as a business development tool..I have pickup some great pointers about how to use this tool more effectively.

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