Many of us have had Facebook for years, along with other social media sites such as; twitter, foursquare and even MySpace (back in the day). But along with any social media site, it is important to take precautions. I currently just read an article called The Dangers of Facebook. This article concentrated on giving a few helpful safety hints to the users of Facebook.
This is what they suggested…
▪ Consider restricting access to your profile. If the site allows it, it’s a good idea to limit access to your profile. Don’t allow strangers to learn everything they can about you. It’s just not safe.
▪ Keep your private information private. Never post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, full birth date, financial information, or schedule. These will make you vulnerable to identity thieves, scams, burglars, or worse.
▪ Choose a screen name that is different from your real name. Avoid using any personal information that would help someone identify or locate you offline.
▪ Think twice before posting your photo. Photos can be used to identify you offline. They can also be altered or shared without your knowledge.
▪ Don’t post information that makes you vulnerable to a physical attack. Revealing where you plan to meet your friends, your class schedule, or your street address is almost an open invitation for someone to find you. Remember that a photo in front of the Co-op tells strangers you are in Austin, and quite likely at the university.
▪ Use your common sense. If you are contacted by a stranger online, find out if any of your established friends know the person, or run an online search on them (after all, you can use these things to your own benefit too!). If you agree to meet them, make it in a public place and invite others to join you.
▪ Trust your instincts. If you feel threatened or uncomfortable during an online interaction, don’t continue the dialogue. Report any offensive behavior to the social networking Web site administrators.
▪ Be suspicious. Don’t take any information you receive from a new online contact at face value. The Internet makes it easy for people to say or do things they would never say or do in public or in face-to-face interactions. Protecting yourself is the smart thing to do.
As with any social network sites, it is important to remember to not post anything you wouldn’t want to show your employer or future employer, everything that is on the web, is there to stay. I am a strong believer in using social media to network and improve your businesses. But you always have to be careful when giving out any personal information or photos. Always be smart when using social media.