Social Networking Sites
This article provides tips on how to safely manage your online identity.
Social networking sites have revolutionized the way we keep in touch with friends and family. As easy as it is to share your whole life, it is important to take precautions and manage what personal information is available through Facebook, Twitter, and other sites - especially professional ones like LinkedIn. Is your online profile the first impression you want to send to potential employers? Do you list any information on your profile that you don’t want available to anyone with internet access?
Use discretion when deciding what to publish to your profile. Social networking sites provide many different levels of privacy and security settings; educate yourself about your site's settings and make use of them.
- Do not list your physical address or phone number on your profile.
- Do not post any information you would regret being shared with a wide audience. Information can travel far past its intended audience and potentially be viewed by college administrators, prospective employers or complete strangers.
Connecting with Others
- Only confirm people as friends if you know them in the real world. People aren't always who they seem to be online.
- Never exchange personal information with or agree to meet other social network users if you do not know them in real life.
- Avoid posting anything private or inappropriate on your profile or on others’. Once posted, it is difficult to remove all record of the action.
- Manage what pictures are available of you. Remove tags from pictures you do not wish to be associated with and contact the poster if necessary.
- If you see any material that might endanger you, another user, or any person in real life, notify proper campus administrators.
- Read the fine print when using social networking "applications." Many sites offer applications that will access your email to look for new contacts or send messages to your friends on your behalf. Be aware of these possibilities when using applications.
- Manage your settings to ensure that only people you want to share your profile with can view it.
- Remove your profile from internet search engines which could otherwise yield your profile page.
- Most sites allow you to set the privacy level on every individual photo album or activity. Take advantage of this and make sure you are only sharing information and images with people you trust.