In this Web 2.0 world, where people have the ability to instantly communicate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you are new to this world or a long time user, you should be diligent in protecting yourself, your family and your friends. Most people have stored a large portion of their details on social media pages, be it messages, personal photos and/or your friend’s contacts. While the message of “Think Before You Post” is relevant for all age groups, it is particularly important for those who frequently use social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and etc. It’s time to think about your behavior online to protect your information and to keep your online experience both enjoyable and safe.
In all social networking sites security settings exist for a reason. We should learn to use the privacy and security settings on social networks to protect our private information. By using these private and security setting we can restrict the users from accessing what you post on Facebook or Twitter.
- Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social media sites. Whatever you post online stays online until you decide to delete it. Think twice before posting pictures. Recent research (http://www.microsoft.com/privacy/dpd/research.aspx) found that 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.
- Your online reputation can be a good thing: So show your smarts, thoughtfulness, and mastery of a particular subject that your interested in.
- Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about on how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking.
- Protect your hardware: Safety and security start with protecting computers. Install a security suite (antivirus, antispyware, and firewall) that is set to update automatically. Keep your operating system, Web browser, and other software updated as well.
- Be honest if you’re uncomfortable: If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or you think is inappropriate, let them know. Likewise, stay open-minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them respect those differences. Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
- Guard your financial and other sensitive information: Never provide or post your pan account number, address, phone number, bank account or credit card numbers, or other personal information that could be used by criminals.
- Think twice before clicking on suspicious links: They may contain viruses or spyware that could damage your profile or steal your personal information – including your online passwords and account numbers. Some messages may “spoof,” or copy the email addresses of friends to fool you into thinking that they’re from them.
- Avoid in-person meetings: The only way someone can physically harm you is if you’re both in the same location, so – to be 100% safe – don’t meet a person whom you don’t know. If you really have to get together with someone you “met” online, don’t go alone. Have the meeting in a public place, tell a parent or some other solid backup, and bring some friends along.
- Think about how you respond: If someone says or does something that makes you uncomfortable, block them and don’t respond. If they continue, let your parents or another adult know. If the messages are threatening in any way, save the messages and tell your parents as this may be considered a criminal offense
- Now what action to take: If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them, and report them to the site administrator.
Dr. Ivan Misner, NY bestselling author & founder of BNI says “Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Don’t engage in ‘premature solicitation’. You’ll be a better networker if you remember that.” So be social(ly) responsible in sharing information online. Your information is worth protecting, so protect yourself (information) before it’s been exploited.
Reference: Safety Tips for Social Networking