Privacy Tips for Social Media

Every day we use our favourite social media channel to communicate, engage, and to maintain our relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.

If you do things in public be aware of social media – most people have a smartphone with good camera and instant access to the internet and social media. Social Media has changed the way people interact. If its not something you would be happy for your parents or employers to see or witness then think twice. In today’s world of social networking, it is hard to strike a balance between staying connected and maintaining a measure of healthy privacy.

How to make your social media more private:

  • Be aware and educated. Everyone needs to be more aware of social media – tagging photos or uploading photos is now a part of everyday life.
  • Adjust the privacy settings on each social media platform you use. Check which third party apps have access to your social media profile and what information they have access to.
  • Change your passwords on a regular basis. Use a combination of symbols, letters and numbers. Also, it’s advisable to use a separate password for each social media network.
  • Ask your friends to consider the ramifications too before they post or tag any images of you on the internet. Don’t forget that Facebook uses facial recognition software to offer automated photo tagging now.
  • Keep up to date with the Privacy policies which change frequently from site to site so make sure you regularly watch for updates and review your privacy settings.
  • Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, including your birth date, physical address or other details that help identity thieves.
  • Protect your privacy online and remember that photos are searchable by employers so always think twice before uploading. If you’d rather pictures of you weren’t shared online, then tell your friends.
  • Be careful about “checking in” on Facebook and Foursquare. Don’t share travel plans! Some sites will allow other individuals to check you in to geographic locations. Many people don’t mind this option, but remember that when you tell people where you are, you are also telling them where you aren’t – at home.
  • Be selective about instant sharing on social media, think before you post!
  • Before you click “post” or “share” think about the consequences. Could this embarrass you or damage your career prospects? You need to manage your personal brand, this includes a certain amount of self censorship!
  • Use your judgement when it comes to the digital world, just as you would in the real world.
  • If something posted about you and you don’t like it or want it there, report it to the social media site immediately.
  • Remember, anything you post online can “go viral” and removing a something is not a guarantee it’s gone. People often take screen shots of these “viral posts”.
  • Don’t post anything online that you want kept private.
  • Don’t put on social media what you wouldn’t put on a billboard!

Think about it — social media has been integrated into our daily lives, and it is now as simple as picking up your smartphone, starting up your favourite social application, and sharing an update to your network. Think carefully about your social media engagement approach.

Written by

Aoife Rigney is a digital marketing and social media strategist, advisor, trainer and event speaker. Aoife loves her work – it’s her passion! From training one to one or a large group, advising a business on their digital strategy or speaking to a room of people – she simply loves it!

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