Did you ever Google yourself?
Do it now – it is fun, and informative. You’ll get to know how much others can find out about you if they do the same. In other words, you’ll know instantly if there’s something of you out there that you’d rather keep under wraps. That was the First Tip. But of course, you need to realize what exactly it is that you need to keep to yourself.
Follow the next six tips for what you probably already know but may not be putting to good use. Social media is great, no question about that, but you are asking for trouble if you don’t know how social you ought to be and with whom.
2. Real Time Status Updates – To Post or Not to Post?
In this era of smartphones, it is fun to post updates (with pics) of your wonderful vacation. Are you sure burglars aren’t tuned in as well? And the worst part of it is when you announce you are going on a vacation and do NOT use that smartphone for the duration of your vacation. How simple do you think is it to hack into a temporarily inactive account or create one just like it and make all sorts of mischief afterwards?.
We are not sure, and we sure don’t want to find out, and we’re betting, neither do you! Save the snaps and the update for after the vacation if you want to be safe than sorry.
3. Got Lucky? Tell No One!
Won a sweepstake?
Been gifted a diamond ring?
Bought some expensive furniture or whatever?
We are not going to tell you not to post snaps of your place showing you and your family in it (because you wouldn’t listen), but don’t showcase your home just to show off. A wall painted in a favorite color or furniture rearranged or your room all done up is fine, but if you announce that you have a lot of money, you are only asking for trouble. This goes in the same line as the earlier tip.
4. But Sometimes You Simply Must Brag!
Yes, we understand. Do it with your friends. Not friends of friends. Use the message feature for privacy. And don’t keep twitting for no good reason (bragging isn’t a good reason). You never know if your friends are reading this article and taking our advice as we are sure you are going to. Why take the chance? Restrict your sharing and make this a rule for everything that is personal.
5. Does Your Boss Know You’re the Life of the Party?
You don’t have control over what others post, but if you are tagged in a photo that shows you in a particularly embarrassing situation and having fun, it may be best to untag yourself immediately. And of course, take care how you showcase yourself in general. Even if social media is a place for having fun and sharing, you still need to consider what your employer or prospective employers might think of your – um – ‘activities’ – get the drift?
6. Secure the Security
Even if you have been otherwise discreet, you are not really invisible, not in this world, not any longer. Forget it! The reason we are stating this so emphatically is that security questions ask for your mother’s maiden name, your marriage anniversary, the place where you went to school and so on. It may not be impossible to find answers to those if someone considers you big enough to hack.
Understand that you don’t have to answer truthfully – make up a fictional bio for yourself and put those details in. After all, you are not filling in a form for employment – these are just questions to ensure no one else gets into your account.
Every social network that we know of offers privacy settings and comprehensive terms of service. Check those out. Make good use of the security settings.
Give yourself an ego boost if you like by having a couple of thousand friends, but make sure you know who sees what – take advantage of the ‘Lists’ option and keep the unknown persons in a list where they can see very little or nothing of your personal stuff.
And use discretion when making new friends. You may think ‘What the heck’ and click on ‘Accept’ but think again. The digital world is your oyster only if you know how much of yourself to put in there. Now go back to tip number 1 and Google yourself if you haven’t already!