It seems like data breaches and privacy issues across different industries are constantly in the news these days. Social media companies have had plenty of issues with privacy, too. Even if the online world seems gloomy, there are things you can do to protect your privacy while using social media.
Focus on passwords.
One of the best ways to safe guard your profiles is to have strong passwords. Even though it is convenient, you should avoid having the same password for every social account. It’s also a good idea to include a variety of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Lastly, it’s a smart idea to change passwords every so often.
Limit who can see your posts.
Social media is a great tool to keep in touch with family and friends, or to share news. Much of what we share is personal. There’s nothing wrong about sharing what’s going on in your life, but it’s important to be aware of who is seeing your posts. On Instagram® and Twitter®, you can set your profiles to private so only your followers can see what you’re sharing. Facebook® allows you to restrict posts and information to be viewable by friends or even only yourself. Check to see if your posts are marked as “friends only” or “public”. Limiting who can see your posts can help keep personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
Know who your friends are.
While having a high follower count may be an exciting thought for some people, not knowing the people who are following you can pose a risk. Fraudsters can do a lot with the information you share on social media, even if you think you’re being careful. If your profiles are private, be selective with who sends you friend or follow requests. If you don’t know the person sending the request, it might be best to decline.
Don’t share too much.
We might not always realize how much we are sharing about ourselves online. People with bad intentions might catch a glimpse of the happenings in your life. That’s why it’s important to be aware of how much and what you’re posting. For example, be careful about sharing a bunch of details about a vacation. If suspicious people see you’re out of town, they might take advantage of that. Some details about your life might be better to not share on social media.
Do regular privacy scans.
Regularly checking your social profiles is a good way to see if your privacy settings are up-to-date. Many social media sites have dedicated pages or sections where you can review important settings and make changes. These sections also tend to have other features to better control your privacy. Be aware default privacy settings can sometimes change without notice for each post or status update.