As social networks continue to get more popular, more people are actually putting themselves at risk. Total privacy is largely a thing of the past but we still expect to be able to protect information that we don’t want going public. Protecting that information is easier said than done when signing up for ultra-popular sites like Twitter or Facebook (News - Alert). Large numbers of members has bred large numbers of hackers and other criminals.
Keeping information private is only getting that much more difficult, as websites that used to be completely different begin to merge. These days, viewers on YouTube (News - Alert) can actually get a look at your Google+ profile through just a few clicks. There are a couple of different rules you should keep in mind if you want to keep the private stuff private, and the public stuff public.
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The first and perhaps most important rule is that you double- and triple-check your profile. Most social profiles are going to offer up the ability to enter your phone number and home address. That does not mean that you have to actually fill out that info. If you want Facebook friends to have that kind of information, you can also send it to them special. Don’t put it out there for anyone to see.
Online privacy isn’t always about your online life. Because they are excited or happy, people tend to let everyone on the Internet know where they are an awful lot of the time. The problem is that there are plenty of people out there who use that information to plot a break-in. Don’t announce on your social networking sites that your house is going to be empty for a week, unless you want to come home to an even emptier house.
This is the same reason why you shouldn’t necessarily broadcast that you just got a brand new big screen television. It’s common to want to spread the word about things you are excited about, but you need to understand that people you don’t know and trust can get a hold of this information as well.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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