Friday, March 26, 2010

Why you need to share less on Facebook and Twitter

Read the original article on Examiner.com, Santa Ana.
I am one of their Social Media writers!

It seems counterintuitive, this concept of sharing less while using tools that encourage you to share more. Unless you are an expert when it comes to understanding privacy settings, social network platforms may be giving employers, law enforcement and strangers access to your updates.

Facebook is perhaps the most dangerous platform when it comes to sharing information. With its multitude of privacy, search and profile settings, Facebook can be confusing for average users who want to protect themselves. Unless you've created segmented Friends lists, your site activity will be announced for all to see.

You might get weird looks from your co-workers if you join the popular "Awkward moments define my life" Group to be ironic. Your mother might lecture you if you become a Fan of fictional womanizer Barney Stinson. Or you might lose your health benefits because you posted pictures of yourself having fun when you were on sick leave for depression (true story).

Not to mention the implications once you throw law enforcement officials and burglars into the mix. A sarcastic tweet about hating politicians could land you in jail. And those harmless Foursquare check-ins you use to get discounts and assert your mayorship at the local coffee shop? They're also letting strangers know that you're not home at the moment.

With nearly every one of your social network activities displayed publicly, it takes some restraint to avoid overexposing your personal life. Learn about each of your network's privacy settings and use them well to protect yourself from unwanted eyeballs.