PRIVATE - Social networking and privacy article


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PRIVATE - Social networking and privacy article for Holistic Therapist Magazine

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PRIVATE - Social networking and privacy article

  1. 1. 15HOLISTIC THERAPIST 2013holistictherapistmagazine.com14 HOLISTIC THERAPIST 2013 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 user. Hacking 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. OFALLTHEINFORMATION DISPLAYED,THE MOSTSENSITIVEIS YOURBIRTHDAY 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. Identity theft 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 photographer: For more social-media advice, tips, examples and news, visit