Social Media: What’s the Point of Privacy

by Julie on April 27, 2009

keepout

Most social media sites offer users the ability to manage their online privacy. This gives you the ability to control who sees your profile information.

Marketing/Business

If you’re using your social media sites for business and promotion, then protecting your profile is a rather large mistake. It’s like a big, ‘Closed for Business’ sign. Your purpose is to meet people, spread the word and network – yet either:

  • No one can find you, or
  • You’ve set up a roadblock (people have to ask for permission to see behind the curtain and they likely won’t take that extra step).

This is observed most frequently on Twitter. Go into settings and open the ‘Account’ tab at the top (this tab usually opens as the default). Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the privacy option:

twitterprivacy

DO NOT check this box to protect your updates if you want to build a network on Twitter. It’s nothing but a great big road block to your world.

Personal/Private

However, if you’ve joined a social networking site to connect with friends and/or family on a personal level or if you’re part of a witness protection program, turn that privacy protection on.

On your Facebook page, for example, put your cursor over ‘Settings’ in the upper right corner. A drop down menu will appear and you can click on ‘Privacy Settings’ that give you an entire menu of ways to protect your stuff:

facebookprivacyWhen you click on any of those options, it breaks it down either further, offering you the chance to allow the following groups to view your pictures, information, friends, videos and on and on:

  • Everyone
  • My Network and Friends
  • Friends of Friends
  • Only Friends
  • Customize…

Facebook lets you be incredibly specific.

So, decide why you’re using social media, have fun, be safe and use protection wisely.

Image courtesy of Aaron Jacobs

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