Managing your Digital Footprint on Social Networks

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social networks have become an integral part of online lives. Social networks are a great way to stay connected with others, but you should be wary about how much personal information you post.

Follow these tips to safely enjoy social networking:

  • Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks.
  • Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see.
  • Your online reputation can be a good thing:  Recent research also found that recruiters respond to a strong, positive personal brand online. So show your smarts, thoughtfulness, and mastery of the environment.
  • Keep personal information personal: Be cautious about 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.
  • Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages.
  • 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. 
  • Know 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.
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