Cyber-bullying and cyber-crime is a real issue for anyone of any age. Bullying, stalking, scams and crimes all take place in our virtual world every single day.
Personal security is compromised when our information is made overly public…
Just think about that.
If you are on social media, there are vast amounts of people you do not actually know following your posts –if your location settings are on, for instance, those people can just show up on your doorstep. Personal safety and security aside, do you really want a random Twitter follower showing up at your house unannounced? I’d personally be creeped out.
We wanted to do this post to let you guys know that there are ways to discourage any type of creepy behaviours. Social media makes it just as easy as it is difficult to keep your personal information private.
Turn off all your devices
Ok, I’m kidding. But I wanted to start off there. Unless you have a business you are trying to promote and that is what you are posting about, be sure that your location services are turned OFF. If you’re posting a photo of yourself, your family, your kids, you don’t really want a stranger on the internet to know exactly where you live.
- Take some minutes of your time to check the settings on your phone to know if this service is on or off.
- If you use social media quite frequently, you should also check the options they offer in terms of location. You might not know that they are on by default.
- Foursquare can be a lot of fun for lots of people, but you have a risk of being followed or stalked by the wrong people.
Facebook and its ever-changing, often elusive privacy settings. Use them. Educate yourself on them. I find Facebook is where people share very personal details about their lives. Did you know that the top of every single post you do on facebook tells you exactly who can see it?
If there is a globe at the top of your post, anyone who finds your profile can look at that post. For instance, cover photos can never be private –they are always available to everyone- so ensure that you aren’t posting any pictures as your cover photo that you don’t want the world to have access to.
Remember, any photo that can be seen can be saved. Profile photos seem to automatically set to the globe now when you add a new one, so make sure you change that, unless you want the world to see your selfies ;)
The last thing I want to remind everyone about Facebook is that you only have control over who sees your posts on your page. If you are posting on a friend’s page or a business page, your privacy becomes subject to their privacy settings.
If you are trying not to be found online for whatever reason, this is something to keep in mind. Also, even if you have your privacy settings so others cannot see photos tagged of you, all someone has to do is go on your friend’s page to see them –so make sure you let your friends in on your desire about your pics.
Twitter. Instagram. Tumblr. Snapchat. Etc… just remember that if it is out there, it can be accessed by people you might not want to see it. Remember when you post a photo with your location settings on, the location is embedded in the data of the photo. And it doesn’t take a pro-hacker to get that information.
There are lots of steps you can take to keep yourself safe online. We want to encourage everyone to take them.
If you’re concerned that you’re not understanding your privacy settings well, let us know. Myself at Ugly Ducklings Inc and Dana at Bullies Keep Out are kind of privacy pros… so if you want us to take a poke around your Facebook and let you know where you might be compromising your privacy, shoot us an e-mail, or leave a comment, and we will let you know.
If you want us to tell you how easy it is to find you on social media, we can do that too. If you’re being hacked or bothered on social media, Dana is an excellent source for you. So don’t hesitate to reach us. We will do everything we can to help!