Stealing identityFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms can be incredibly fun – but keep in mind that there are tons of people using them the same as you. Not everyone may be taking advantage of social media the same way you are. This is why it’s crucial to be constantly vigilant, balancing between “fun-share” and “safety-share.”

What does this mean? Basically, you’ll have to be careful on how you set up and manage your social media accounts to make sure that private things stay private. As you very well know, there are lots of people who learned this lesson the hard way.

That being said, following are some tips on how to protect your privacy on social media:

No Overshare

Oversharing privacy-wise refers to anything you post that can be used by other people with malicious intent. The most obvious overshare would be posting about your planned vacations. Sure, it’s fun to show everyone your vacation pictures as they occur, but would-be thieves would read this as: look, my house is completely empty and unguarded.

Other information you should never release include your social security number, home phone number, home address, and birth date. Even you birthplace is not something to be shared since it can be used to track down your social security number. There was also this case when someone shared a picture of their credit card online – which obviously led to unauthorized purchases by third parties.

Personal Information Sharing

The rule in social media sharing is simple: do not post any information you wouldn’t be willing to divulge during a casual conversation. Personal matters and gripe should be kept general – and try not to post anything about your job, especially when you’ve got your boss as a friend! Facebook has the option of changing your name so don’t use your FULL one.

Internet securityPrivacy Settings

Every social media account has a “Privacy Setting” that lets you manage how you want others to view your profile. In Facebook, you can click on the down arrow at the right most corner and click “Settings”. From there, choose “Privacy” and read the options you have when it comes to management. You can limit who gets to see your pictures, the friends you have, and the posts you make. In fact, you can limit the viewing capacity of each post and each album by just ticking on that little arrow on the side of the status. By the way, Facebook is constantly upgrading their privacy settings. On the upper right corner, you’ll find this “lock icon” that teaches you how to fully optimize your account for privacy.

Google Alert

This is a precautionary measure, just in case someone uses your name for something. Essentially, a Google Alert tells you when someone does a search on your name. It’s completely free and although there’s really nothing else you can do after being informed, it does keep you on the loop.

Of course, those are just few of the tips you can use. Other techniques that are quite obvious but easily forgotten are:

* Signing in and out of your social media accounts
* Clearing history on a routine basis
* Signing up for a remote-wiping system in case your electronics get lost
* Choosing a complicated pin and changing it every few months

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