Taking a Proactive Approach to Social Media

Security & Privacy

I have a love/hate relationship with social media.

On one hand, I use Twitter for business and Facebook for connecting with friends. Facebook, especially, has enabled me to keep connected and talking to friends who live on the other side of the globe. This is such a plus that I can’t help but loving social media.

On the minus side, I am constantly worried about my security and privacy while using these sites.  Being an employee of an Internet security company gives you a intimate view of  all the scams and dangers running wild on social networks.

So how do I balance the pluses and minuses? How do I keep connected to your friends without compromising security and privacy?

For me, the solution is to take a proactive approach to using social networks.

1. Know the settings of your accounts.
I take time to know the settings to my accounts and check what is visible to everyone and what is hidden. In Facebook the settings can be found under Account – Privacy settings. There are quite a bit of settings there, but it is worthwhile to take the time to go them over. I limit things to my friends only. It is even possible to create a limited profile and share some content only with some friends.

Contact settings in FB
Here’s a great list of 10 privacy settings that every Facebook user should know.

2. Remember that things loaded to internet stay there.
This means  that photos and content that I would not be comfortable publishing in a newspaper stay out of the web. 🙂

3. If I get messages from friends with headings that do not sound like something they would be likely to send I don’t click on them.
A friend’s account may be used to infect people with viruses. So if it looks fishy I assume that is just that.

With these precautions in mind, the pluses of social media definitely outweigh the minuses. With a little effort and common sense, enjoying social media can be as safe as doing anything else in the web.

Happy networking,
Annika

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