Protect Yourself At All Times When Using Social Media

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There are a number of groups and foundations dedicated to the constant research of information regarding Internet safety. Most importantly, these groups collaborate safety tips that need to be understood for online social networking.

Below is a list of the most important safety tips that every social media enthusiast should become aware of when they want to become active online.

Learn how each social networking site works before you join. Understand if your information is private, semi-private (controlled by you) or completely publicly available

Control the information you post. You might want to restrict access to your page/account to a select group of people like friends and family

You dont have to post your full name. This is a personal decision. There is never a need to post other info like address, phone number, or bank and credit card account numbers. Avoid publishing any info that could identify your offline location.

Create an anonymous screen name. Dont use your name, your age, or your hometown.

Remember that many people can see your page. This may include parents, kids, colleagues, your boss, your employees, etc… Once the information is posted online, it is out in the public forever. Make sure you are okay with what is being broadcast.

You dont have to post a picture of yourself. This is always optional and you should consider that your photo is now publicly available.

Understand that social media sites can be very anonymous and that people you meet online can easily fake who they are. Consider all online friends as virtual unless you know have actually met them in person.

Be careful when clicking on links that have been sent or posted to your account. They may appear to come from a friend but may have been maliciously placed there by someone who wants to send you to an untrusted site.

Avoid allowing social media sites to connect to your address book. In doing so, you may be giving away the email address of friends who do not authorize the sharing of their information. You might want to send a personal email to a friend if you would like to invite them to a new site. That way, they can check out the site and decide to join on their own terms.

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