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May 21, 2019

Privacy Tip of the Week: Stay Private on Social Media

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Social media connects the world. It helps us to keep in touch with friends and family and can also be used to meet new people. However, it also puts our privacy at risk. Thankfully, there are a few ways to stay private on social media.

  • Check your privacy settings
  • Treat “About Me” forms as optional
  • Don’t friend strangers
  • Set hard limits
  • Use a strong password
  • Log out

Check Your Privacy Settings

The first step to safeguarding your privacy on social media is to check the privacy settings for each account you have. Facebook alone has more than half a dozen different settings you can adjust, including who can see your posts, send you friend requests, look you up using your email address, and more. Twitter, Instagram and other platforms also have different settings that you can control to protect your privacy.

Treat “About Me” Forms as Optional

Some platforms, especially Facebook and LinkedIn, ask you to fill out detailed “About Me” pages. These pages ask for things like your date of birth, where you work and where you went to school, where you live, and more. Rather than give up these details, treat those pages as optional to stay private on social media.

Don’t Friend Strangers

If you wouldn’t tell a stranger details about your life in person, don’t give them access to that information online. If you don’t know the person, you don’t know what they might do with your personal information.

Set Hard Limits

When using social media, there are certain things you should never post or share online. These things include your social insurance or security number, driver’s license, credit card information, and more. Create a list of all the information you should never share online and stick firm to it, no matter who is asking. Another worthy inclusion is location tagging: while it might seem like a fun way to share adventures with friends, it also tells people you’re far from home.

Use a Strong Password

Your password is the gatekeeper to your privacy. If it isn’t strong enough, you run the risk of your private information being hacked if you do have personal details on your accounts. Check out our other blog on how to create a strong password here.

Log Out

Finally, one of the best ways to protect your privacy on social media is to log out of your accounts when you’re done using them. By logging out, you can prevent your information from falling into the wrong hands in the event that you lose a device or someone else uses a device after you.

Social media is a great tool and connector, but also comes with certain risks. Use these tips to help reduce those risks. You can also disconnect from social media altogether, using this handy guide.

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