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We know that we need to watch what we share on the Social Media sites. But do we know how to control over what is actually shown to the public? Below is some tips you can use to improve your privacy on the three of the most popular social networks: Instagram Facebook Twitter

Your Social Media Accounts

Facebook Privacy Settings
Secure Your Twitter Profile
Instagram Pictures

Concerns with Social Media Privacy

Social Profiling
Cyberstalking
Warrantless Searches
Third Party Information Sharing

Staying Secure and Private

Phishing Scams
Use Strong Passwords
Two Factor Authentication
Stop Access to Third Party Apps
Using Geotags Wisely
Use a VPN

Each time you post on social media, you might be revealing more than you think to a wider audience than you expected. Even Employers are looking at Social Media profiles of their potential employees in order to screen job applicants. A recent article at Money.com Boss's Snoop on Social Media Profiles found that 60% of employers check out the social media pages of job candidates. We listed some steps you can take in order to reduce your private information that is accessible online of the 3 most popular social networks

Your Social Media Accounts

Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook has no option to switch your account to the private mode. But you can manage who you let see your status updates, photos and or check-ins. You can also make your profile invisible to third parties and the Search Engines. Unfortunately there is no way to hide from Facebook Advertising. You can share your future posts only with your inner circle by going to: "Menu" > "Settings" > "Privacy". Choose what option suits you: "Who can see my stuff" You can make your posts visible to your friends, public or keep some private details to yourself. You can also choose to review posts you are tagged in. Remove tags from those party pictures you do not want your colleagues to see. "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?" If you do not like the whole world from looking at your information outside the social network check the "No" box. Do you have followers?. You may not even know you had followers. Facebook allows random people who are not even on your "Friends List" to follow your posts. Click on "Public Posts" to manage who can see and comment on your activity

Secure Your Twitter Profile

Even though Twitter was never not meant to be your private diary. You still want to check who can follow and engage with what you share. You can switch your account from "Public" to "Private". This will hide your tweets from everyone except the people you have approved as your followers. Go to "Settings and Privacy" > "Privacy and Safety" Check the "Protect your Tweets" box. This will make your Twitter account private. If you ever chose to share your location and no longer want to. Uncheck the option "Tweet with a Location". "Photo Tagging" and "Discoverability" Are options for who can tag you in their photos and prevent or allow others from finding you based on your contact details

Your Instagram Pictures

Are you sure you want the whole world to see every Instagram Pictures you take. So you love to share your precious holiday moments and beautiful visual discoveries. But do you think that your life should be seen by random strangers? It may be good to switch your account from Public to Private. Open your account and go to
"Settings" > "Privacy and Security" > "Account Privacy" > "Private Account"
To make your content visible only to approved followers. Now only new "Followers" will have to get your approval first. However for the Photographer or those that want to share your pictures going private may not be an option. Share but do not over sharing. Be careful when posting pics of your friends and family members. Also consider not using geotags. Not all of your thousands followers need to know your location
How to Turn off Geotags

Concerns with Social Media Privacy

Social Profiling

Recruiters try to retrieve social media information when vetting applicants Social profiling is the act of measuring a person based on their interaction and influence on social media platforms. Some estimates say that 43% of employers used information online in order to not hire someone and 40% use social media to screen candidates, including their social conduct. Although it can be important in some ways, it does show only one side of a multi-dimensional person. It assumes that if there is no social profile, or if you have a low social influence score, you are automatically less worthy as an employee

Cyberstalking

Do you take steps to prevent cyberstalking when you use social media? Cyberstalking may sound like just the electronic and modern form of traditional, face-to-face stalking. It can also include real-time and off line stalking. However, cyberstalking has a completely different set of victims. Traditional stalking is usually understood to affect women as victims. Cyberstalking, on the other hand, impacts nearly 40% of men. Also, traditional stalking is usually done by ex-partners or certain associates of the victim; a large part of cyberstalking is done now by complete strangers. The increase in cyberstalking is possibly due to the ease of information access. Cyber-stalkers can attain geo-location information that is automatically turned on for most smartphones. Not to mention the fact that we willingly share this information ourselves by geotagging every single picture we share on our social profiles

Warrantless Searches

Government surveillance is also a threat to online privacy. Warrantless searches have been in and out of the news for some time. However, it wasn’t until the revelations by Edward Snowden that they gained front-page attention, and the focus zoomed in on the government’s standard of accessing users’ private information without a warrant. In the U.S. the courts determined back in 1967 Case known as Katz v. United States, well before the social media age that any person who willingly makes information public is not protected by the Fourth Amendment, and therefore requires no warrant. Even information that is meant to be kept private, such as information shared with a friend, is often interpreted as not being intended to be private as there is no guarantee that the recipient would keep that information private. The NSA is known to have worked with Facebook, Google and others through the Prism Program to monitor user information that included email content, search history, live chats and file transfers

Third Party Information Sharing

Many companies collect visitor data and then sell it to others This is where the tracking comes in. Several websites set cookies to your device once you visit them. The cookie places information on your device to later identify a returning user. That is a problem, as some cookies can crawl and track you to other websites. Identifying your behavior patterns online. Also several online services you opt-in to use, track your activity while you use their services

Facebook and the majority of social media sites, are tracking and recording what you do, what you like, your comments and messages, your shares, and all other behavior. They then can sell this information to companies or as part of their advertising services, as it helps to sell products and services more easily and in a more targeted way

Privacy and Security on Social Media

We can still maintain some privacy on platforms where we share everything. Even if you are not concerned about the privacy threats mentioned here. You may not like the idea of potential employers being able to see your social media posts. Protecting your social media profile and staying active at the same time may sound quite troubling at first. But it all becomes super easy when you know what to look for and what to fix. We will help you with that

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are very effective because they can be very deceptive. You’re emailed a message saying that your account has been hacked, and you need to click the link in order to restore your account. You click on it, enter your login information, and voila, you’ve been hacked! That was a fake email and a fake site, and you wouldn’t know until your private information gets stolen. In general, don’t click on links shared by people you don’t know

Use Strong Unique Passwords

Unfortunately it is still true that the most popular password is still “password.” It's important to have a strong password, But many people take the easy route. You DO NOT need to change your passwords regularly IF it is already a stong password. You should be using a combination of capital letters, numerals, letters and punctuation
See our blog on Creating a Strong Password
Also see Do not trust password strength meters

Two Factor Authentication

If you’ve set up your new strong and unique password, you should also enable two-factor authentication, or at least login verification. This feature adds an extra security layer by requiring one more authentication step after entering your password. When two-factor authentication is enabled, it sends a code to your phone which is needed to complete login from a new device. Login verification is similar, except that it’s not every time you log in. It’s only for when you log in from an unknown device that you’ll be prompted to enter a verification code

Stop Access to Third Party Apps

During your social media life, you have probably used some Risky third party apps. Check, whether you are still using all of those apps that you permitted access to view your account. We recommend you stop access to applications that are no longer in use, as well as suspicious applications that offer you to get “likes”, followers or view private accounts on Instagram. These are the ones to use your account in an improper way

Use Geotags Wisely

We completely get it – tagging a location to your photos is really tempting, especially when it comes to your travel shots or a newly decorated house. However, geotagging puts you at risk, both material and cyber. Not only that your vacation photos is an open invitation to burglars, signaling that your house is left empty, geotags also add sensitive info to your online profile, disclosing your personal preferences through specific locations visited. For these reasons, specifically avoid tagging locations that you are frequently at, like your home or work

Use a VPN

Ever login to your social media accounts from a public Wi-Fi. Remember that you are putting your account security at risk. Make sure to keep your privacy, use a VPN service like NordVPN, which will encrypt your Internet traffic and protect your personal information from hackers and identity thieves
Read our review on NordVPN and see how easy it is to stay private and secure


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COMMENTS

Raymond K
Good information


Stacy A
Thanks for the help with social media


Mark M
Keep posting good info!!


Jason F
Thank You for providing this article


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