This post is for everyone who use Facebook, twitter, foursquare and other social networking sites. Allow me to share with you the safety practices I observe.
- Before you create an account, read the fine print. Find out how the service provider handles your personal info, and if you post/share a lot of intellectual property [articles, creatives, etc], check if by using their services you are giving themimplied license to use, distribute or if they co-own your work without compensation.
- Use strong passwords and change often: Refrain from using birthdays, anniversary, etc. But not too difficult for you to remember. Avoid using universal password for all your accounts
- Set your Privacy and security settings to the max: Limit what humans, spiders, robots, and applications can see from your profile
- Don’t share too much personal info: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. I don’t tell my online friends who are my family members, where I work or live. I don’t want would be perpetrators to have an easy time stealing my identity, or hurt me and my family.
- Manage your friends: Our virtual social life is not a popularity contest. Either limit your connection to those you personally know, or group them in such a way that you can easily filter what each group can access from your site.
- Remember that in the eyes of a stranger, what you post is who you are: Protect your reputation online. What you post online may be stored beyond your lifetime. Think twice before posting anything that your family or future employers/business partners will see.
- Don’t give your location in real time. Foursquare may be cool, and it’s way cooler to your stalkers. I normally post where I am when I am about to leave the place, and I don’t give specifics.
- Protect your connection. We are fond of using different apps available in the social networking sites. But be aware that by agreeing to their terms, you also grant them access to your connection’s private info. Use only trusted applications.
- Be wary of the malicious applications hidden in links and pictures. Malicious applications are normally hidden on juicy pics or catchy title. It is meant to arouse your curiosity so you would “click” the link or photo. So next time you saw a friend post something in your wall, it may not be your friend, but a malicious app replicating itself on the victims friend’s list. This happen because the account owner fell victim to the bait and clicked the link.
- Protect your hardware: Safety and security start with protecting computers. Ensure that firewall and other safety features of your machine is turned on and updated. Back-up your files regularly.
- Take action: If someone is harassing or threatening you, or you don’t like their behavior, let them know you are not comfortable or remove them from your friends list. Block and report them to the site administrator when necessary.
If you are doing something that is not mentioned here, care to educate us and share?
Happy social networking.