Transcript of "PRIVATE - Social networking and privacy article "
15HOLISTIC THERAPIST 2013holistictherapistmagazine.com14 HOLISTIC THERAPIST 2013 holistictherapistmagazine.com
BUSINESS – JP’S SOCIAL-MEDIA TIPS
blurred between work and private life. To ensure that
employers and employees know where they stand,
it’s important to have a ‘Social-Media Policy’ in place.
This should clearly state what isn’t acceptable, but also
what is acceptable – as used in the right way, social-
media can benefit both employers and employees.
As an employee, it’s important to be aware that with many
employers you are still representing your employer outside of
work, so be careful what you post and tweet. There have been
several high-profile cases where negative comments about
employers or customers by their workers on social-networks have
resulted in dismissal. In many of these situations the status update
has been made to ‘Friends’ and employees have been surprised that
their employer has managed to view their posts. However, there is
nothing to stop any ‘Friend’ from sharing a Facebook update more
widely, simply by copying and pasting it or taking a screen shot.
A good question to ask yourself before making a post on a social-
network is, “would I post this on the Piccadilly Circus billboard?”
Your settings can help restrict the visibility of your posts, but
remember that you don’t have total control. You can adjust the visibility
of each status update on Facebook, to the left of the ‘Post button’.
Here you’ll find the same options as you have on your ‘Personal
Profile’. When you make a new update your most recent settings
will be remembered, so be sure to check this is what you require.
On Twitter, all your updates are public and can show up in Twitter
search results and on Google. The only private updates are ‘Direct
Messages’, where you can send a private message to another Twitter
All the information about you held by any social-network is
protected by a password, but as demonstrated at the end of
January, by a major attack of over 250,000 accounts on Twitter,
passwords are not often enough to stop hacking. You can however,
reduce the risk by having unique passwords for all your social-
networks – and other online accounts – and by changing them
regularly. (Turn over for more tips on Internet security).
To conclude, we all have individual views on privacy, and the levels
of sharing we are comfortable with… So don’t assume that the default
settings on your social-network are suitable. Take the time to review
your personal details and privacy settings, and amend if necessary.
When it comes to Facebook status updates, it’s sensible to assume that
your updates are public, even though they may not be set this way.
Social-media expert JP advises on the importance
of social-networking privacy policies
We’re in a technological age where
you can live your life and share
your thoughts across the globe in
seconds via social-networks. It’s
therefore important to pay attention
to WHO you’re sharing WHAT with.
Each social-network has its own
method for controlling the information,
photos and videos you share. In
this article we’re going to look at the
concerns and risks associated with
social-networks and what you can do
to reduce them. We’re going to focus on
the two main social-networks; Facebook
and Twitter, but many of the points
apply to other online networking too.
Each social-network gives you a
personal profile, where you can display
a photo of yourself and information
about yourself. On Facebook you can
display a vast amount of information,
including your date-of-birth, marital
status, interests and even your
address. There is also an ‘About
You’ section, where you can add
and display additional information
using free text. Facebook’s ‘Privacy
Settings’ allow you to control exactly
who sees this information: This
can be limited to ‘Only You’ or can
be ‘Public’ with lots of options in-
between, e.g. ‘Facebook Friends’.
On Twitter, the personal information
you can display is more limited – your
photo, location, website, and a brief
description of yourself or ‘Bio’.
On these, and other social-networks
you should check your settings to
ensure that your details are visible only
to those who you wish to see them.
On Facebook, go to your Timeline
(‘Profile’) and select ‘About’, which is
underneath your profile photograph.
You’ll then see information such as
‘Work’ and ‘Education’, ‘Basic Info’
and ‘Contact Info’. In order to review
who sees this information, select
the ‘Edit’ button to the right of the
heading, e.g. ‘Contact Info’, and you
can decide who sees each item.
For example, you might wish your
‘Home’ phone number to be restricted
to ‘Friends’, but your ‘Work’ number
to be ‘Public’. To do this, select the
icon to the right of your ‘Home’ and
‘Mobile’ numbers and make your
desired choice. You can also restrict
visibility to ‘Friends’, lists of ‘Friends’
or even a particular person. You
can quickly review which items are
‘Public’ as these are indicated with a
globe symbol. You should repeat this
process for each of the sections.
Of all the information displayed,
the most sensitive is your birthday,
as this can be used in conjunction
with other information to ‘steal your
identity’. I would strongly suggest that
you do not display your full birthday.
However, you might want to make
visible your month and day of birth
and there’s a setting to do this. I can’t
think of any circumstances in which
you should display your year of birth.
On Twitter, you can’t control who
sees your details, as all of it is public.
You can of course choose not to add
information, but everything you do add
will be available for everyone to see.
It’s worth noting that ‘public’ doesn’t
mean that the information is restricted
to everyone on your social-network. It
means that it can be viewed by anyone
on the Internet, which means that it
can be found in search engine results
too. Good for business, but not good for
protecting personal details.
Employment and Unemployment
A fully completed profile can help in
obtaining a new job, or if you’re self-
employed, new customers and business.
A 2009 UK survey found that 27% of
employers looked at social-networks
when recruiting staff. It’s likely that
this figure is now considerably higher.
Despite what you may think, such
research of candidates is not illegal. If
you are looking for a job or new clients,
then ensure your Facebook profile has
your ‘Work’ and ‘Experience’ section
fully completed, and that your skills and
experience are included in the ‘About
You’ section too. You may then want
to make this public. On Twitter, ensure
you’ve completed your ‘Bio’ using
keywords relating to your industry and
skills. So reviewing your ‘Profile Privacy
Settings’ is not just about locking
everything down, but ensuring that your
information and settings are appropriate.
Increasingly lines are
BUSINESS – JP’S SOCIAL-MEDIA TIPS
For more social-media advice, tips, examples and news, visit intranetuture.com/blog
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