Keeping Yourself Safe on Social Media

Your online privacy has recently been a hot topic of conversation on a global scale, the recent bungle with Facebook has led to many users, not just of the ‘social media juggernaut’ but also of other similarly popular platforms, to doubt their safety. For a number reasons, many users don’t understand, or even willfully remain ignorant to the risks relating to social media privacy or how to mitigate them, and every platform comes with an amount of risk; since the functionality and running of the platform is out of your direct control there is only so much you can do to protect your information.

But this doesn’t mean you should shirk your responsibility to yourself and to your business to do all you can to protect yourself! Spending time and even money on keeping your information secure is something any respectable business does so in some form or another. The internet is a wonderful place to interact with others and operate your business, but sadly there are those out there that will try to use it against you.

Here are some tips to help assure that not only your personal profiles and data are secure but also your business’s profile and public image:

  1. MAKE USE OF EVERY AVAILABLE PRIVACY SETTING

It’s a bit of a no-brainer really, every platform provides options that allow you to set the amount of information that visitors to your profile can access and also what information can used by others to find your profile initially. These settings can be as specific as: Which individuals can see certain information, or as vague as restricting public visibility unless they have requested to be your friend. These settings do a great deal to protect your data already and will deter most hackers and scammers.

  1. LEARN TO RECOGNISE SCAM EMAILS AND LINKS

Unfortunately, as the level of protection grows stronger, those who seek to take advantage of others’ are also evolving to be even craftier. Recently reported scams include Emails and Direct Messages from people posing as well-known companies such as Apple, Google or large banks warning there has been a security breach and will prompt the unsuspecting and worried receiver to follow the link in order to resolve the issue. These emails are often poorly crafted and contain many clues as to the real origin and intention of the email. Learning to tell the difference is surprisingly easy, always check the origin address and fine print for anything that looks unofficial, often these emails are written in poor English and are littered with spelling errors and poor grammar, so stay calm and read it carefully, if you still aren’t sure, get in contact with company using their official website or phone number (Never use the links or numbers provided on the email)

  1. POST VERY CAREFULLY

When it comes to business, your social media profiles are your direct link to your customers and target audience, a lot of benefits are gained from have a well-run social media program. However there is a lot of opportunity to err. It’s important for business, especially large ones to have strict and well understood policies regarding how its employees interact with the company’s public profile and who has permission to make posts on the company’s behalf, it can be too easy for an employee to slip up and cause costly damage to the company’s reputation, Here are some ideas to prevent this from happening: have a system for cross-checking posts before release, only allow certain employees permission to post on behalf of the business and have all employees sign a social media conduct agreement.

Even with regulations and training put in place, Human beings will make mistakes, the real test is how one manages such situations..