The Truth About Social Media and Privacy

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I have been asked this question by many people. I was also featured in a Facebook chat earlier today for my knowledge in social media, and was asked this question.

If you set your Facebook profile or Twitter to private, is it safe to share whatever you please no matter how personal it may be?

My answer is an unequivocal NO!

Even if your Facebook profile is set to private, it is true that only your connections can see what you share. It is true that search engines will not crawl what you put out. However, here is something that many people never consider. What if a relationship with a private connection goes sour? And that individual ends up sharing your private content that you had shared on your page, that this person had access to? It does not matter if whatever you share cannot be shared by your connection since it was private. Anyone can take a screenshot of whatever you put out, and that person can share it with his or her network! Therefore, your content that you had shared on your private Facebook page is out there! That content you did not want the world to see is out there due to this.
And even if that does not happen, realize the fact that your social networks can easily be hacked and in that case- your content is no longer safe.

Therefore, if there is something you are dealing with in life, or have dealt with in life that you only are comfortable sharing with a limited amount of people- that is fine! Just do not share it with them on your social networks! Do not even type it in a Skype chat or any other message. Never put something personal out there in typing anywhere! It is not safe out there. In that situation, if you want to tell someone something personal- use the old fashioned approach. Call that person, or do a Skype voice chat. If that person lives close by, meet him or her for coffee and talk about the issue. Just keep it off of any of your networks where it can easily be accessed. There is no such thing as privacy anymore! Especially when it comes to social media, even if your pages are set to private. Consider this fact before you share something that you don’t want everyone to know. Because at some point, the risk is very high that they will receive access to it.

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Written by Miriam

Miriam

Miriam Slozberg is an author, social media consultant and depression advocate. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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4 Responses to The Truth About Social Media and Privacy

  1. Hollee Howden July 17, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Miriam – as a social media newbie, and someone who has been hesitant about putting any private information out there, it is important that you are discussing the reality of what many are way too casual about. Thanks for telling it like it is!

    • Miriam July 17, 2013 at 5:27 am #

      Thanks for commenting Hollee. You are right to not put anything private on your social networks! Good move and glad to help.

  2. Michelle July 17, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    GREAT post. VERY informative. Sometimes we forget that ANYTHING we put in writing, no matter where it is, can come back to bite us in the a$$! 🙁

    • Miriam July 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Absolutely Michelle, thanks for commenting!

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