Practicing Social Media Hygiene

by | Nov 5, 2019 | Cyber Security | 0 comments

Social Media Affects Your Career And Your Identity.

New research reveals that nearly two thirds of people are embarrassed of past images, posts, and other such content on their respective social media profiles. And to make matters worse, ~34% of those people admit to not increasing their profile privacy settings despite knowing how to. So, next time they apply for a job and the Human Resources department decides to check out their social media profiles, you can guess what a likely outcome may be…

Proper Management Of Your Social Media Is Critical To Your Professional Reputation.

For many, social media accounts are a great way to establish a timeline of memories for their social lives. Whether they are celebrating a special occasion, attending a gathering, or just out on the town- many people document their lives for all to see. But sharing your good times can become a big problem without proper the discretion and practices implemented into your social media routine. Ensuring your accounts are set to the strictest privacy settings possible is something considered to be essential if you want to keep your digital reputation unblemished. However, following this advice is not something that you will find most people actually do.

Research shows that ~28% admit to either never checking their own social media timeline, or not being able to remember the last time they had. ~66% acknowledge that at least one of their social media accounts is inactive. ~40% admit that they have not thought about getting rid of said inactive accounts or at least wiping their posts, and ~11% don’t even know how to adjust privacy settings on their accounts!


A Few Steps To Get Yourself Protected

Digital Spring Cleaning. At least once per year (more than that ideally), sift through both your old and current social media accounts. If you do not want the old account, it’s best to just get rid of it! If you feel you would like to keep the account for possible future use, please at least wipe all of your post history and adjust the privacy settings! Next you’ll want to take some time to go through your active accounts. Get rid of unwanted and questionable pictures, videos, and posts so they don’t come back to haunt you in the future! And it’s not a bad idea to untag yourself from other’s posts as well. Even other people’s profiles can harm you in the long run!

Privacy and security settings. Leaving your social media profiles set to public means that anyone can look you up and view your profile and posts whether or not you want them to or even know them. While you should still show the care and responsibility in treating anything you post online as public, turning privacy settings to private/hidden/locked will give you the invaluable control over who can see your content.

Stop reusing passwords. Use unique case sensitive passwords (if parameters allow for it), with numbers and symbols as well, even if you don’t think the account holds much importance. We understand unique passwords for the entirety of your online presence sounds like a daunting task, so a password manager is something that may help you. Preferably something that supports 2FA (two factor authentification), password generation, remote vault backups, and proper encyption.

Use common sense! Think about each questionable post before you make it. It may seem like a great and funny idea in the moment, but think of it’s long term impact for both yourself and others involved. The provided entertainment is extremely temporary whereas the ramifications can certainly not be. In a similar vein to innapropriate posting, what about posts that give away personal information? Taking a moment to think through the potential consequences prior to posting is the best way to save yourself in the future.