The internet used to be so simple. All we had to do in order to stay safe online was not talk to strangers and make sure we didn’t accidentally share our entire address in a chatroom.

Not anymore.

The rise of social media has resulted in a new information age where people are sharing far too much about themselves and their families, which can have dire consequences.

It can be easy to think that your personal information will be safe on social media — after all, why shouldn’t you trust your friends and followers? Unfortunately, Facebook friends and real friends are not the same thing and many of these so-called “friends” may actually be strangers.

If you want to stay safe on social media, you need to protect yourself. Here are some tips on how you can do that:

Use strict privacy settings on social media.

People who don’t know you and aren’t approved to be your friend or follower on social media should not have any access to your personal information and posts — ever. It’s a good idea to keep your business accounts separate from your personal accounts.

Every social media platform, from TikTok to Twitter, has customizable privacy settings that allow you to choose how much information you share with the world.

For Personal Accounts

We recommend choosing the strictest privacy settings that usually only display your username and profile picture until you have approved someone’s friend or follower request.

Never, ever post personal information about your children online, as you could be putting them in danger. Never share intimate or specific details about your child online. Always use your best judgment before posting photos or stories about them.

For Business Accounts

We recommend you share the essentials that your customers or clients need to know. If you do share personal things on your business accounts, make sure to not share specifics or identifiable information or objects.

If you wouldn’t tell it to a stranger on the street, don’t post it on social media.

With some things, it’s common sense that you should never post them online, like your password, social security number, or home address. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by social media, though — even seemingly harmless information can be dangerous.

Here are some examples of things that seem OK to post online, but can be dangerous in the wrong hands:

  • A photo of your home, especially if the house number or street name is visible. Google Maps can be used to pinpoint your exact address.
  • A video where you are traveling and street signs show up in the video so someone can figure out where you live.
  • Where you work or go to school. This is a good way to share with people online where and when they can find you.
  • When and how long you’ll be on vacation. This is basically an invitation to those who are looking to rob your house or your business while you are away.
  • Your mother’s maiden name, the street where you grew up, your high school, childhood nickname, or the name of your first pet. These are common password recovery questions and can be used to gain access into your accounts.
  • Your personal phone number.

Information you share online can be used against you.

When you are a business owner, it’s not just your personal life that is at risk, it’s your business that is at risk too.

There are many stories about how business owners had their social media hacked and were not able to get their accounts back. Think about how much time and money you have spent to build a reputation and get followers online. Losing all of that money and time to a hacker is a terrible experience. But you can protect yourself and your business by making sure you are keeping your important information secure.

Need help making sure you are safe online?

Social media can be scary, but it’s essential to building a successful business these days. If you are having a hard time making sure that your private information and your accounts are secure online, it would be a good idea to hire a professional. We can evaluate your accounts for best security practices, give you tips and advice about making them more secure and help give you more peace of mind.

When you take the right precautions you can significantly lessen the risks associated with social media. If you want to chat about securing your accounts online, we’d be happy to chat about your needs.

Just click the button below to schedule a chat with us now!