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Protecting your privacy on social media

Protecting your privacy on social media

By daniele

Okay, if you didn’t know, nowadays, privacy concerns have increasingly been the subject of public and political debate. This is partly because of social media and the internet. 

And although social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, Linked In, and Snapchat have become very popular among users, the information people share on the web is still in danger.

In fact, this data typically attracts viewers outside of their trusted circle of relatives and friends, and someone somewhere probably records much of what you do on your social media accounts for reasons you may not be aware of. For instance, the government, spambots, ad companies, vindictive acquaintances, and even worse, cybercriminals, who are also interested in your personal information. 

So, knowing these privacy concerns, we are going to identify ways to protect your privacy on social media in this article. Likewise, we believe that with these tips, you will be able to take appropriate measures to protect your social media privacy.

Can you control your privacy on social media?

Generally, it is suggested that each individual be in charge of their own social media privacy. Actually, you might be told that you only need to check some boxes to move your social media privacy from “weak” to “strong” and protect your online information.

However, despite all the things you can hear about it, it is hardly possible to control your social media privacy. Even if you´re trying your best to protect yourself on social networks (including deleting your account), your friends and relatives will still share your personal information.

And if you were wondering, no, even getting rid of your social media apps won’t make you safe. Therefore, the evident lack of privacy on social media makes it important to protect your online privacy before you share anything on any social media platform.

How to protect your privacy on social media

But don’t worry, here are some tips to help you protect your privacy on social media:

1. Read and understand the privacy terms

Every website on the internet has privacy terms, including social media sites. For that reason, it is important that before you sign into any of them and register an account there, you read and understand their privacy terms.

On the other hand, pay close attention to the policies of the information you are registering and agreeing to share when you sign up for an account with a social media platform. For example, what content can be shared with a third party, and if you can delete your content from the website permanently.

2. Site Features

Try to familiarize yourself with the social media site’s functionality before you broadcast or share any messages. As you have to understand who will see your messages and whether they’ll be only for specified recipients or for all users on the platform. At the same time, don’t forget to, above all, understand the privacy settings and vulnerabilities of the social media site.

3. Adjust your Privacy Settings

This feature is available on all the social media platforms you usually use. So, remember to always check the default privacy settings on their site. As you see, most of those configurations may permit the sharing of your information with other third-party online users. Thus, by adjusting the default privacy settings, you may limit the amount of information that the social media site can share with other users without your knowledge.

4. Biographical Information

When you register an account with many social media platforms, you are often required to provide your biographical information, such as your full name, year of birth, age, or address.

Well, maybe it is impossible not to provide this data, but keep the info to yourself in order to limit what other social media users know about you. Such information can provide cybercriminals with enough data to cause you harm.

Hence, we recommend that you customize the privacy settings on your media to minimize personal information on the same platform.

5. Account information

Do you know what kind of personal details you provide on your social media profile? Okay, it is important that you never provide sensitive information such as your nearest schools, political affiliation, bank account information, former or current workplace, Social Security numbers, or general interests, among others. And perhaps it could seem harmless, but it can be used to scam you or serve you unnecessary ads.

6. Friends or Contacts

You don’t have any obligation to accept a “friend” or “follow” request from anyone on social media, particularly those you do not know. That’s why you must be careful when accepting friends or following friends or contacts, with a keen consideration of why you are using the site.

Keep in mind that before accepting any follow or friend request, you have to do research on the person, and understand (from their timeline) who they are, what they do, and what kind of content they share.

7. Turn off your location

Please never forget to turn off your gadget’s location sharing. This is a good strategy to avoid giving reviews to places and businesses you frequently visit. Also, turning off your location prevents Facebook, email, and phone lookups.

8. Be careful about posting photos online

Well, this is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do on social media. So, before you post any photos, think twice. For instance, a simple, harmless picture of your child without a name may already be revealing too much information. Plus, advertising your whereabouts through pictures could make you, your loved ones, or your home a tempting target for cybercriminals.