Are You Over-Sharing Online Without Knowing It?

Feb 04, 2014

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Over-sharing is becoming the norm on social media profiles, but it doesn’t have to be.  Before posting personal thoughts, opinions, and pictures for the public eye, stop and consider if you would share those things face-to-face.  

Last year, Facebook and Twitter changed their privacy settings, allowing more users to be able to see what you post. Your highly secured profile might not be so private anymore.

Here are a few things about privacy settings that Facebook and Twitter have kept “private”:

- A more recent feature of Facebook is Graph Search.  Although it’s not a secret, Facebook doesn’t publicize that users can find your private profiles and photos while using it.  Facebook doesn’t have any settings to block strangers from finding other users on Graph Search.  

- Facebook uses facial recognition software to make “Tag” suggestions when an uploaded photo looks like you. Facebook automatically suggests your name if you look similar. (A stranger may not know your name, but they can find out with a photo.)

- Almost anyone can find and follow you Twitter. The social network will share everything you post with all of their users.  Unless you choose otherwise, your posts are automatically public to all of Twitter.

What you can do:

- Use the audience selector tool on your Facebook posts to restrict which individuals can or cannot see your posts.  Underneath the post, you can choose to post it to the public, friends, or customize and select with which specific friends to share.

-  To turn off Facebook’s Tag Suggestions, go to profile settings, and select “Timeline and Tagging” on the left-hand side of the page.  Once you have navigated to that page, scroll to “Who sees tag ­suggestions when photos that look like you are ­uploaded?” and select “none.” 

- Specify who is allowed to see your tweets by navigating to settings and selecting “settings and privacy” and “protect my tweets.” If you want to block a specific person, visit their profile and select “block” under the icon on their profile.

Keep in mind, that if you mention someone in a post, it is not longer protected but becomes public to them. They can share.

You don’t need to share everything with everyone. Keep your private life private and be in control of who you want to share information with.  It isn’t always necessary to block Facebook or other social networks as long as you are aware of how stay safe and secure while using them.  

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