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Privacy and your posts—is it all nice and secure?

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David Cowling
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By David Cowling

 

Director at Social Media News, David Cowling, gives us his take on social media privacy.

Although you may think you have your privacy controls locked down to ‘friends only’, David says it is important to see how your profiles look to a regular user.

‘By logging in as an anonymous user, you may find that old status updates, from before the changed privacy settings, may still show up in public view,’ David said. ‘When browsing your social media profiles while logged out—which is how search engines will see your profile—any content here will be indexed and added to the Google and Bing search engines, so when someone searches your name any public profile information may show.’

Perhaps the biggest chore for optometry graduates is making sure the content they shared on Facebook several years ago will not come back to bite them.

It’s worth checking to see that your photos and status updates from when you were a teenager or still studying reflect your attitudes and opinions at an older age.

If they don’t, you can either delete the posts, or make sure they’re switched to “Friends” view, using the grey asterisk above the posts.

A step-by-step instruction on how to tighten your Facebook privacy settings can be found here.

Facebook lets you set the privacy status of your content on a per-post basis. This means that every time you write an update, you have the choice of making the update private if you wish.

‘Make sure you understand that every time you authorise a new application on your profile, your friends will see how you are using and interacting with that app unless that app has nothing to share, which is unlikely,’ David advised.

Similarly, when you use the ‘Like’ button, on and off the Facebook site, this information will show to your friends and publicly in certain places.

‘You can stop this information from being seen by disabling ‘Instant Personalisation’, which is found under the privacy options in your profile,’ he said.

Your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on are all public pictures, which means these photos are indexed by the search engines and may show to people who run an image search on your name.

David’s tip: ‘It’s important to have a high quality head shot over a more informal photo as this could be the first impression a potential employer comes across when finding you online.’

If you’re unwilling to change your photo to a professional shot, you might take the more radical step of adopting an alias instead of your real name on social media.

  • Read and understand the privacy options offered by Facebook.
  • Know who you are ‘tweeting’ to. If you don’t want your tweets to be seen publicly, learn about protected tweets.
  • New to LinkedIn? Watch this video to find out how LinkedIn can help you boost your online profile.
  • Check the impression that your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages give of you, and find tips to improve it.



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