You can control what information others see about you, to help reduce risk when you’re socialising online.
Set your social media accounts to ‘private.’ For most social media platforms, your profile picture can be seen by anyone, but you can lock down most other things like your birthday, contact details, photos, posts or tagging by others to ‘friends only’ in your account’s privacy settings. You can also change your profile picture to something that’s not a photo of yourself.
Tip: Uploading compromising photos from a night out with friends may seem funny in the moment, but be aware that many organisations check the online profiles of job applicants. You might not want the photos and information you share with your friends to be seen by a prospective employer! Spontaneous posting can also have lasting impacts on things like study prospects, relationships or even applying for rental properties.
To help get you started, here are some popular social media sites’ step-by-step privacy check-up guides:
Take the time to read how your social media site uses your information, like where you live, your date of birth, or employment details, for example. Often sites provide this information to other organisations to target you with advertising. And your risk to identity theft can increase if these organisations experience a data breach for example.
Tip: You might need to hand over some personal details to create a social media profile but you don’t always have to fill in every field. You can protect your privacy by choosing to give away as little information as possible.