By now, we’ve all seen the articles about Facebook and their use of user information. It has caused a number of users to delete their accounts. Some brands are doing the same. So, I thought it would be a good time to talk briefly about online privacy and social media.
Over the years, social media has become an integral part of our lives. We engage with family and friends on Facebook or our business associates on LinkedIn. Or we monitor trending stories and its entertaining commentary on Twitter. The question people are asking – is our information safe?
Recently, I wrote about using Facebook to help with marketing in unretirement. For years, I’ve used Facebook for my marketing and I will continue to do so, simply because there are more advantages than disadvantages – as long as you’re smart about it.
First of all, know and understand your privacy settings. Every social media site has them. I recommend spending some dedicated time getting to know how every type of social post is handled. Can everyone see it? Only friends? With Facebook, you can start by seeing how others view your page. Click on your profile and, in the bottom right corner of your cover image there are three dots – that’s an extended menu. Click on it and select “View as . . . “.
The difference may be subtle, but you will notice a prompt to send yourself a friend request and an “Add Friend” button. You’re on the right page! From here, carefully read over your Intro box. Does it have the right information? Is it sharing information you don’t want to share here? Any changes in your information can be made using the “About” tab (be sure to quickly click on your profile again first to get back to interacting as you). You should select each heading listed on the left side of your profile and make any edits in the field as needed.
After you confirm your information is correct, it’s time to focus on your privacy settings. On the far right at the top of your Facebook page is a down arrow. Click that and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Select “Privacy” on the left to confirm your settings and edit them as needed. After that, select Timeline and Tagging on the left. That will give you a breakdown of your posting types and who can see them. From here, you can select “Edit” for each type of Facebook action and select who can see them from the drop-down menu.
Every social platform has their own version of a privacy setup. Get to know them! In fact, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual social media audit because sites tend to fine-tune their settings over time.
Social media is, and will continue to be, a major force in shaping our communities and culture. It offers vast opportunities! So, don’t be afraid to take advantage of everything it has to offer. Be smart and be aware. And, above all, be safe. It’s really not that hard to do.