Between Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, social networking for many is second nature. Make protecting your privacy second nature also…
The great thing about this new world is more easily staying connected to friends and business colleagues. The not-great-at-all is that our updates, likes and photos can reveal far more about us than we think – or want.
So let my newsletter be your notice to stop and take a few quick actions to make sure you are protecting you and your family’s privacy.
Here are 4 general tips to amp up your security:
Each application has multiple mechanisms for built in privacy protection but it’s up to the individual to opt in to the highest levels of security. Privacy settings are unique to the individual social network and the sites change their required settings, so peace of mind requires diligence and periodic checking. Consider entering a quarterly tickler on your calendar to make sure you are up to date with the settings you desire.
Here are some specific tips and instructions for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Facebook: by far the most popular of the sites (over 1B people log-in daily!) and many users unknowingly share their timeline post with an audience much wider than just their own friends. Click the lock icon in the blue band at the top of your profile, to the right of your name, to enter the settings area and control who has access to your activity.
Selectively uploading and tagging photos is the way to go versus sharing every vacation picture you take…Crazy as this sounds, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University showed that hackers can figure out an individual’s SSN by combining face recognition technology with data mining algorithms that pull personal information such as hometown and date of birth from public records.
Instagram: To protect the location of where your posted photos are taken (so an innocent picture of your cat doesn’t reveal the precise location of your home) zoom on a specific place on the map, tap Edit on the top right, then on each photo to remove the geo-tag. This will permanently eliminate the photos location data but not the image itself.
Pinterest: A fun tool for clipping images and things you find on the web that you’d like to keep a record of. For the highest level of privacy, consider pinning to a secret board that is visible only to you and people you invite. Should you choose to you can make the board public at any time (but you can’t reverse it and make it private again.) Never fall for a giveaway on Pinterest. That’s not what the site is about.
Twitter: Cyber attacks have been linked to sensational news so beware of tweets that sounds scandalous and / or have “watch now” commands. Don’t install any thing requested from a Tweet and avoid any promotion promising you increased followers. Don’t hesitate to use Twitter’s built into tools to report spammers.
One more area that deserves a review is email. It is important when sending a group email that you use the BCC function. Instead of CC’ing everyone, place them in the BCC field. You will then limit the ability of spam-bots to lift the email addresses of the group as well as the potential for a virus to be spread to all on the list. Lastly many people are protective (rightly so) of their contact information, by using BCC you are showing courtesy to recipients. Here’s an interesting article on the subject, “BCC for Privacy!”