Carnegie Mellon University

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March 11, 2019

Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites allow you to meet, interact, and share with people around the world. But they can pose risks for you, your family, friends, and employer. To help protect your social media accounts, follow these valuable suggestions.

Keep it clean and positive. Post content that reflects you and your values positively. Future employers may look at your social media accounts before hiring you. Pictures, videos, and opinions that make you seem unprofessional or mean may affect your reputation negatively.

Think before you post. There's no "delete" button on the Internet. Assume that anything you post will become public. So, if you don’t want your family or boss to see it, don’t post it. And, ask others not to share your information or images online.

Steer clear of oversharing and geotagging. When you post personal information on social media you make yourself, your loved ones and, even, your physical belongings a target for local and online criminals. Avoid posting names, phone numbers, addresses, school and work locations, and other sensitive information as text or in a photo.

Disable geotagging, which allows anyone to see where you are – and where you aren't – at any given time. Instead, if you really want to share your experience on social media, post that picture of you and your friends at your favorite hangout at a later date to maintain the privacy of your current location.

Turn on Privacy Settings. Check and update your privacy settings frequently, so only people you know can view your posts. Enable the strongest privacy options that social media sites offer. And, make it a habit to confirm that the settings are working as you expect.

Lock It Down. Protect your devices with strong passwords. Even better, enable two-factor authentication (2fa), a powerful way to secure your accounts. 2fa adds a one-time code with your password to protect you when you log in to your account.

Follow these few simple suggestions to protect yourself from digital threats and maintain a positive online presence everyday of the year.