Are you starting to worry about how safe your family is using the social media platform Facebook on a regular basis? Have you ever wondered if it’s truly safe to have your personal information and photos out on a public forum such as Facebook?
You can enjoy the fun way to catch up with friends and family while still staying safe and protecting your family. You may share every detail of your life on social media and you don’t worry about online privacy but others realize that some privacy is important.
By living by the mindset that anything you share, even if it’s just intended for a small audience, is capable of being seen by everyone, you won’t be taking as big of a risk by posting it. Here is a look at how to maintain your privacy and security while still enjoying the popular social media site.
What can I share online?
It’s hard to know what is safe to share online and what should remain private. For example, don’t share your address for your house or job, your credit card or financial information as well as any clues to your passwords. Avoid posting private photos of yourself or posting certain photos of your kids, such as a photo that indicates what school they go to. You also shouldn’t share your vacation details because it could mean you come home to a home that’s been robbed as everyone knew you were in the Caribbean this week.
How else can I stay safe on Facebook?
Many people are unaware of their privacy settings on social media and yet many people still complain about a lack of online privacy. If you do the work to understand your online privacy options, you won’t run into as many problems.
You have to start being proactive when it comes to your online privacy and teach this to your children because it’s very easy for a stranger to reach out to use or our families harmlessly while turning into someone that will come after your family based on the personal details you are sharing online.
It’s important to understand some data in order to paint a picture of why it’s so important to protect your family online. For example, only 37% of Facebook users have taken the time to update their privacy settings in order to protect their data. Interestingly, 28% of Facebook users share just about every post with an audience wider than just their friends.
If you are applying to college, beware that 30% of college admissions offices have found things online that harmed a prospective applicant’s chances of getting in to the school. If you’re looking for a new job, you may not have known that 69% of HR offices have turned down an applicant based on social media checks.
The dangers your family should know about
What’s even scarier is that there has been a 780% increase in Facebook and Twitter crimes from 2008-2012! People should understand the dangers behind Facebook from identity theft from exploiting your personal details to hack into your bank accounts and other sensitive areas.
Spam messages and fake posts could cause you to think you should share your contact details with someone that you thought was your friend. Based on your “likes,” someone could easily determine your gender, sexuality, substance use, race and political views. Plus, Facebook shares your data with third parties, such as advertisers, by default.
You can stay safe by:
- Only sharing photos and video with people you really know
- Keeping a different password for all social media sites
- Not sharing every detail like political affiliation or your employer’s name
- Checking your basic settings to ensure that only friends see your posts on Facebook, having Facebook inform you of irregular activity and making sure your friends aren’t sharing information about you by updating your settings
If you still feel unsafe on Facebook, simply deactivate your account until a later time or delete it altogether in which your information will be wiped forever. It’s not easy to stay safe on Facebook but you can take preventative measures and watch what you post in order to increase your family’s security.