Protecting Your Privacy on Social Networks

by Barbara J. Feldman on May 11, 2009

Social networks have become one of the principle modes of communication for the millennial youth. However, at the same time, older generations are signing on in order to catch up with old friends and to meet new people. Some do it just to keep track of their kids. No matter what the purpose is for using a social network, such as Facebook, it is important to protect privacy. While logging on to a social network implies the divulgence of information, it does not mean that others are entitled to everything. Here are a few tips on how to protect privacy on social networks.

Privacy Settings

The best way to control privacy on a social network is to use the privacy settings to limit what information is viewable by the public and by approved friends. These settings usually include a way to limit which posts, pictures, videos etc. are viewable on the home or profile page. This can be done by limiting whose posts and pictures show up. This can come in handy when a beloved friend likes to post inappropriate material on his profile that may not be good for another person’s home page.

Other settings may also be helpful in protecting privacy. Most of the time a person is able to limit who sees their profile by making it private. This way, in order to see it, a friend would have to request permission. This allows the user to keep questionable people from viewing their pictures or learning about their likes and dislikes.

Stay Out of the Camera

While the privacy settings on a social network are very helpful, another way to protect privacy is to stay out of the camera. The Millennial Generation assumes that anything taken with a digital camera is fair game for posting on the internet. That includes pictures of half dressed friends, drunk friends, or friends committing illegal acts. If this is the kind of information one would not want on the internet, they should avoid having their picture taken while committing these acts, or just not commit these acts in the first place.

Privacy Setting Weakness

It should be noted that these privacy settings are not full-proof. For example, on Facebook, if a person posts a picture on their profile, they cannot assume that only their friends can see it. The fact is anyone that is friends with their friends may be able to see it also. This is how the web of the network is created. While a person who is not approved may not be able to view a profile without permission, they are able to view things posted on their friends’ homepages, even if they do not have access to the poster’s profile.

Using social networks can be a great way to keep in touch with old friends, keep tabs on kids, or network, but users should keep in mind that it is called a network for a reason. While privacy settings and acting responsibly may protect a person’s information from unwanted eyes, most posts and photos that are posted on other people’s home pages may not be protected. It is important to always use prudence with communicating through a social network to avoid having employers or college admissions advisors seeing things that could be detrimental to a user’s future.

More tips like this one in Facebook,MySpace,Online Trends



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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Protecting Your Privacy on Social Networks." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 11 May. 2009. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/551/protecting-your-privacy-on-social-networks/ >.