There are tons of posts out there on how to maintain your online privacy on social media sites, such as Facebook and Google +. More than anything, I want to simply encourage people in the right direction and emphasize that being aware of your data on Facebook and other social media venues is important for you and your family members.
Online Privacy 101: Sharing
Probably the first thing to keep in mind is that you don’t HAVE to post everything, in fact, it’s a good idea not to. Keep your personal information personal. Even sharing personal data online with people you trust can end up in front of the wrong eyeballs. If you have a personal message send a private email rather than posting it on a public wall for the whole world to see.
Watch out for Malicious Applications
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be careful about the apps you install. Not only can they be invasive to your private data but a clever app may pick at your friends data as well. Birth dates, Full names, mobile phone numbers and email addresses are all bits of information that can be used to spam you or even worse commit identity fraud. So make sure that you trust the applications that you allow to have access to your profile and account. Always remember that plenty of people have plenty to gain from violating your online privacy, and many won’t think twice about tricking you into giving up your information.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Take some time to adjust your privacy settings. Some quick steps to setting your Facebook privacy settings(currently) are as follows:
- Read Through Facebook’s Privacy Information: Click the Privacy link at the bottom of Facebook.
- Click Home > Privacy Settings
- Manage what your friends can see
- Manage what the public can see
- Manage your Apps
- Block People and Apps
It will probably take some time to go through all of it for your accounts and those of your family members, but in the end you should feel better about yourself.