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The Social Media Privacy Fallacy

When it comes to social media, so many of us put our trust in the services we use. It’s been reported within a number of resources, that a large portion of the population is ignorant in terms of social media privacy settings. It’s not a matter of people not caring – it’s a matter of people not knowing.

Considering up to 91 percent of employee recruiters use social media to screen potential candidates, it’s important to understand these privacy settings. Your online footprint is essentially a personal portfolio. If you are posting inappropriate photographs, for instance, this could significantly affect your reputation.

There’s no need to be scared or overwhelmed, as awareness can go a long way. You do not need to immediately close all your social media accounts, just understand that some of your information may be visible to others and that the ‘delete’ button doesn’t necessarily mean that the information cannot be retrieved.

Once you better understand privacy policies, you can use these platforms to your advantage. Be more thoughtful about what you’re putting out there, as you may need to deal with the consequences. Here are a few tips:

  • Ensure that your desired privacy settings are set – this is especially true on Facebook. Open your settings and make sure that they’re up-to-date.
  • Don’t use the same login info for every site. Do you have a Facebook and Twitter profile, while actively participating in gaming or chat room sites? If so, create unique IDs for each and every platform. You may put your Facebook information into a site that isn’t as well protected, making your personal information more attainable.
  • Reconsider your approach, building a positive personal brand. When you’re more conscious about what you post online, you will not need to worry so much. Set strict guidelines regarding what you will and will not post. Use social media to your advantage, as you build an online resume.

Being more aware could make a significant difference in the future – know what settings are available and make sure you adjust them accordingly.

Syme, C. (2013). The Shocking State of Social Media Privacy. CKSYME Media Group. Retrieved on January 15th, 2016, from http://cksyme.com/the-shocking-state-of-social-media-privacy/