Why Privacy Must Take Absolute Priority on Social Media

Social media is very much a part of everyday life and is something that can’t easily be avoided. We use Facebook to check in with friends, Twitter to stay updated about our favorite brands and Instagram to share holiday photos.

But while social media is something that we’ve all come to embrace, it’s also important that we keep in mind the considerable dangers it presents. How can social media be dangerous you ask? Because of the significant risk it poses to privacy. Across these channels you share a huge amount of personal information and if that should get into the wrong hands, then you could face identity theft, harassment or worse.

Even something as simple as applying for a job can these days be risky if you’re very active on social media. It only takes a potential employer to do a quick search and find those pictures of your from college and you can lose the job!

How to Protect Your Privacy

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use social media, it just means that you need to be safe and you need to take the time to look at the privacy settings and to set them up to work for you. So what does that mean?

One example is to make sure that only your friends can see your information and photos on Facebook. This way, your information won’t show up in Google searches and people like prospective employers or partners won’t be able to look you up and find out about you!

Another tip is to make sure that you use a good password for all your social media accounts. What counts as a good password? Anything that isn’t connected to you in any personal way and ideally strings that are a good length and incorporate multiple symbols and number for diversity.

If you’re worried your password is too complex, then you can use the ‘trusted contact’ feature on Facebook in order to assign people who can help you out if you ever get signed out. Likewise, you can also use something called two step authentication on a number of social platforms.

Finally, think carefully about the way you’re acting on social media. That means thinking twice about what you share, who you add and who you speak to. Just because this isn’t ‘the real world’ that doesn’t mean that there won’t be ‘real world consequences’ for your actions.

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