Protect your privacy on social media

Over-using social media sites and posting too much information can pose a threat to your safety. 

A study conducted in 2010 shows that 72 percent of college students have a social media account. This number has more than likely increased within the last four years.

There are a variety of perks and benefits that come with joining a social network.

Not only do we get information a lot faster but we also strengthen associations and communication with students, coworkers, and family.

“It is a great way to stay informed,” said student Onalisa Smith. “Social media can enhance connections, but there is a point where there are privacy violations, in which case we need to adjust our settings.”

When does convenience and entertainment become dangerous?

Sometimes we get carried away and post every second of every day letting all of our friends and followers know when, where and why we did or didn’t do certain things throughout the day.

It is then that social media can become dangerous because we tend to believe false misconceptions. One of them is that the Internet provides a sense of anonymity.

Since there is a lack of physical interaction, we create a false sense of security.

We also think that since the information we post is meant for our friends nobody else can read them.

We need to realize that nothing on the Internet is private. The more we post the more we invade our own privacy.

Allowing others to know our personal contact information, interests, habits, and whereabouts makes us more susceptible to annoying spam, dangerous stalkers and criminals that can hack our personal and financial information.

Social media is convenient and helpful. We just have to use it in moderation.

Websites like Facebook and Twitter change their privacy policies every few months.

A smart thing to do would be to read through the new policies and make sure you are aware of what their terms are.

We may find something we don’t necessarily agree with in them or we may find that policies are reliable and less likely to leak our personal information.

We also need to limit who we share information with. In order to do that, we must limit what we post.

What we post on the Internet is open to anyone who has access to a computer and the Internet.

Employers and prospective schools can access our information and use that against us and reject applications or employment.

“I use social media a lot,” said student Nina Calub. “I know that their is a danger to it, but that’s why we have to know to use it only to a certain extent.”

Social media can be your friend or your worst enemy.

I urge students to be more mindful when it comes to how much we post on the Internet.

Originally published on coyotechronicle.net (February 21, 2014)

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