The good folks over at SocialMediaExamier put together a helpful, concise summary of how to configure the security settings at a number of the most popular social media sites (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest). Before you go there, though, let’s think about what your security settings should be as a writer seeking publicity. Just as there are steps to writing a book, there are steps to staying safe. Obviously you do want to increase your exposure and how often search engines find you (or SEO — Search Engine Optimization — as it is known). You don’t want your bank account emptied, though, so let’s talk about some social media security tips.
Clothing is Optional when you are promoting yourself
It is a rather contradictory position in which to find yourself. On the one hand you very much want people to know your face and your name. You want them to feel personally connected to you.
For reasonable and appropriate people, sharing many details is perfectly fine. Unfortunately, when you step into the public arena, you can be sure there are going to be socially inappropriate people as well as criminals in the crowd. Should you catch their eye — no matter the reason — if they come after you, they will likely use the information you have shared via social media sites. Worse, they will probably aggregate a lot of it to build a more complete picture of you. So if you are on six sites, but only put your home address on one, be sure they will find it when they are compiling data on you.
Have a plan and be consistent with what you share across sites
As you should with most things in life, start with a plan. Figure out how much you want to share, and what you will not share. For instance, print off the checklist from the SocialMeidaExaminer site. Preview the screenshots they provide before you actually go to the sites. Use a highlighter to mark what you are willing to share, and use a black pen to cross out what you don’t want to share.
When you are done, make sure you are sharing the amount of info you are comfortable with, and make sure you are being consistent from site to site with what you share.
Be conservative — anything that you release about yourself is out there forever
Be conservative when you start posting and communicating via social media. That is, share less rather than more about yourself. There is a good chance that what you do share may stay in the public domain for a very, very long time. It might stay out there forever. Here is another good article about threats to your security via social media that highlights how simple comments can reveal far more than you think.
Promoting yourself while also maintaining good social media security is possible
It is this simple. And it should not take you more than an hour to prepare what you want to share and then go to each site and set it up as you want it.
Here is the link to the Social Media Security Checklist. If you find their checklist helpful, be sure to “like” or “share” it to show your appreciation.
Some other helpful references:
FBI — Internet Social Networking Risks Humans are a weak link in cyber security, and hackers and social manipulators know this. They try to trick people into getting past security walls.
Social networking and security risks – GFI Social networking and security risks. By Brad Dinerman. The popularity of social networking sites has increased at astonishing levels.
For a humorous twist on Identify Theft, check out this video.