Social media serves as a sort of playground for people of all ages; it’s also a great place to professionally network, if you’re so inclined. Unfortunately, though, social media can pose as a danger to you, your children and anyone else in your circle of friends, if you’re not careful. Here are five fast tips you can use to protect yourself and those you care about.
Don’t Ever Share Personal Information
Use a nickname in general, and even when on a formal site such as LinkedIn, abbreviate your name so it doesn’t reveal who you really are. Also, it’s important that you keep where you live a guarded secret, unless you’re talking in a private conversation. Although it goes without saying that you shouldn’t offer anyone on social media your social security number, it actually happens all the time, so don’t be fooled by anyone posing as a legitimate outfit, such as PayPal. Keep all your info private, all the time.
Take Advantage Of Privacy Settings
All you really need to reveal is enough of your name so that people recognize you and a photo if you choose; post a pic of your dog or cat, if you’d prefer to keep your appearance protected, too. All social media platforms have privacy and security settings you need to make good use of.
Never Announce Your Plans Publicly
While it’s innocent enough to announce your family will be away for the weekend, you never know who could be reading your posts! Message those you wish to inform of your plans privately, just to be on the safe side.
Choose Your Friends And Followers Closely
Of course, it looks good if you have a lot of people in your circle of online friends, but if you don’t really know them, don’t get too close. There’s no law that says you have to follow or friend someone back and the information they can become privileged too may put you at risk.
Find Out What People Are Saying About You
It’s always a good idea, particularly if you are in a public position or highly scrutinized profession, such as teaching, to Google your own name every so often. You could discover awful and untrue things being said about you, or find your information has been compromised by someone’s privacy terms. If so, contact the site owner; you might also try contacting Google, but they’re very stingy about information removal or history “forgetting”. The quicker you find out about erroneous or damaging info being posted, the better.
Have fun on social media and enjoy the professional perks of networking, but stay safe. It’s a big scary world out there and you never know who you might really be talking to.