How to Maintain the Little Privacy you have Left

Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Internet Marketing, Web 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

Privacy on social media may seem like a bit of a contradiction: the user puts all of his personal information on the Internet, but still expects a measure of privacy in order to protect that data. The average user generally skims the Privacy Policy of a website, and rarely checks or updates their privacy standards. But because social media platforms and various websites are constantly undergoing changes, it is important that users do all they can to maintain their information.

5 Tips to Help Preserve Internet Privacy

Navigating the policies and privacy updates may seem like an unrewarding chore. Nevertheless, it is crucial that every user do all they can to maintain internet security. The following tips can help users take control of their privacy:

1. Personal Information:

One of the most common tenants of maintaining privacy is to refrain from posting personal information. Individuals should stay away from posting their private information online, such as their phone number and address. Even an email address should be posted with caution. Though many people follow this practice as common knowledge, it is still well worth mentioning.

2. Visibility:

On nearly any social media platform, the user is able to create a profile, in which they display their likes and interests. But unless the individual takes extra measures, these profiles can be seen by everyone. There are certain standards that the individual can set in order to decrease the visibility of their profile. For example, Facebook allows default privacy standards to change, so that only “Friends” are able to see their profile. On Twitter, profiles can be set to private, so that only those approved by the user can see their Tweets. Changing the visibility of a profile can help the individual prevent their individual from being seen by unwanted visitors.

3. Contact Control:

A common characteristic of social media platforms is the ability to send messages to others. However, users can change their settings and restrict other’s ability to contact the individual. One example is Facebook, where settings can be set so that only Friends can send messages to the individual. By changing this option, it prevents the user from receiving unsolicited messages from strangers.

4. Sharing Settings:

Given the nature of social media, users are constantly sharing content and links back and forth. However, this exchange can lead to a decreased awareness of online security, causing the user to become vulnerable to threats. For example, undefined, shortened links on Twitter can lead to spammy or malicious sites. Users should refrain from clicking on a link, unless they know exactly where the link will go.

5. Avoid Easy Access:

On social media platforms such as Facebook, users are generally required to use their real names. However, this may be a future complication, especially in the case of individuals who are avoiding unsolicited access during a job application. If the user wishes to maintain privacy, one option is to change their “username” that does not comprise of their real name. By changing their public username, it becomes difficult to find the users’ specific information online.

Maintain privacy can seem like a daunting task, and at times, a futile attempt. However, this is not the case: users can take multiple precautions that will allow them to enable and maintain their online presence. But social media sites will not make the change for users: it is up to the individual to take measures to protect their own privacy.

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