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Safeguarding Privacy on Social Media Platforms

The number of people using social networks has grown at an exponential rate in the last few years. In fact, Facebook alone boasts of about a billion registered users. Today, social media has become an essential part of our daily lives and has made the internet a very important aspect of every business. However, the growing use of social media sites has also given birth to a lot of privacy issues. Despite these concerns, many people fail to take the necessary steps to safeguard their identities on these sites.

Safeguarding personal information

There are different facets of security when it comes to social media, and the most important one is regarding your personal information. Just visit anyone’s Facebook profile and you will be surprised to see the amount of personal information available on it. Twitter and Facebook may be great platforms for sharing personal information with people you like, but it is important that you do so in a controlled manner.

The simplest way to control the information  you share is through the privacy controls offered by most of these sites. Earlier, sites like Facebook had to face a lot of criticism for the lack of user control in their security options. However, now you can control who sees your personal information and who doesn’t.

Also, most of the people you communicate with on your social network are people you know in real life. So, there is no point in sharing details like your e-mail id or your phone number on such sites.

Data sharing settings for applications

Social networks have become an important revenue source for application developers. Most of these applications request access to your profile in one way or the other. Some of them might want access to your contacts, while others would want to keep a track of your location. It is important to check out the company behind the application before you agree to these requests as there are some developers whose aim is to earn money through data harvesting.

When the server of a company,  which you have an account with, is breached, there is very little you can do. But, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that your personal account does not become victim of a cyber attack. Here are some tips to help you with that.

Never open suspicious links

You need to be extremely cautious while opening links sent to you in social media sites. Most of you might not think twice before opening links sent by your friends, but you need to understand that with some malicious links, your friends’ security can be compromised as well. So use some form of web-link protection offered by many anti-virus companies today and protect yourself against malicious links.

Choose your social media platform carefully

The success of a few social networking sites has led to the launch of various sites which offer similar services. Some of you might be tempted to join these sites, but it is important to do a background check on them before joining . For starters, find out who owns the site and whether it has the required legal certifications or not.

Use proxy servers

Using proxy server is another method utilized for anonymous social media use. Proxies hide your real IP address and allow you to surf anonymously. They can even encrypt the traffic from your computer to the server. Applications that track your location will be rendered ineffective if you use a proxy server.

Apart from these precautions, there are some general steps that you should take for safeguarding personal information. One of them is to change your password frequently and use a password which cannot be broken easily. Also, avoid accessing your social media profile from public computers. Some of these computers are infected with malware, while others may have key loggers installed to store your passwords and other sensitive information.

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