Social media is a great way to stay connected with the people in your life. Share a post and update your friends and family on your kid’s first day of school, how work is going, or where you’re moving, in an instant.
We get it. We use social media. You probably found this article on one of our accounts!
But, what might seem like light-hearted fun could have severe repercussions for you and your family’s privacy.
Here are some key considerations you have to keep in mind to protect your information:
#1. Limit the number of posts and photos you share with personal information about you and your family.
We know your children are super cute, and it’s fun to celebrate their first day of school with a lovely picture. However, that cute picture can tell the wrong people your child’s name, where they go to school, and where they live.
At the same time, information about your work, your anniversary, your contact information, can all be used to figure out your passwords.
Instead of haphazardly posting this information, Toni Birdsong of McAfee suggests sharing pictures of your children selectively and only including their initials when you do so. On top of that, consider creating private Facebook groups with you and your loved ones to share updates from your family safely.
“Become more mysterious,” Birdsong advises, “make your social accounts private, use selective sharing options, and keep your profile information as minimal as possible.”
#2. Don’t share personal information with apps, services, or quizzes.
We’re all guilty of it – we wanted to know which Star Wars character we are or how we would look if we were old. Doing these quizzes and signing up for these services have implications that last much longer than the few moments of laughter they provide.
#3. Share what you don’t mind recruiters and potential employers seeing.
This is less about privacy and more about your livelihood. We know that more and more employers are turning to social media to ascertain who the people behind the resumes are. You should consider this before posting something that you think may be funny but is offensive to others.
On that note, you want to avoid getting into fights with people on social media. What can start as an honest disagreement can escalate into something more substantial that is ugly for both parties involved.
#4. Set up extra security measures.
Other steps that you’ll want to consider taking to protect your privacy include setting up two-factor authentication, using multiple passwords, and avoiding public Wi-Fi.
“Hackers set up fake public Wi-Fi with a misleading name,” explains Kim Komando with USA Today, “upon logging in, the victim’s keystrokes are recorded and stolen to obtain personal information.”
We know social media isn’t going anywhere, which means we have to be smarter about how we use it. By following these simple steps, you can better protect your information.