16 Feb

Social (Media) Security / Privacy – Why it matters and how to secure yourself? – Part I of II

Social media is all over the Web and is now showing up on television commercials, television shows and even showing up during football games!  We’re being bombarded with Twitter hashtags (#) and the Facebook Like buttons.  Teens and college students “tweeting” all of their thoughts on Twitter.  Even their sex lives!  People adding their location to their tweets on Twitter or status updates on Facebook.  Advertisements being delivered based on your location with the use of your mobile phone’s GPS.  All of this brings us to the following question…

Why is Social Media Security / Privacy important?  Well, if you’re looking for new career opportunities, a corporate recruiter or hiring manager can search Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media of your activities.  That picture you posted of you drunk with your friends at a bar with your hand on your genitals certainly won’t win you any points in the hiring managers eyes!  Criminals can track your location using the geo-location (GPS on your mobile phone) of your Facebook posts or Twitter tweets.  Even your pictures can be tagged with the location of where it was taken!  A picture of your big screen TV posted on Twitter with no privacy = possible break-in.  Cyber stalkers can become regular stalkers, which becomes a physical security risk.  “Peeping Toms” can come to your home and look through your windows just based on your location of your Facebook post just an hour prior!

What is social media?  Social media is used to connect to others on a “friend-like” level.  It allows to complement the typical ways of human interaction.  Especially long distance relationships.  Below a a few of the big social media sites.

  • Facebook - the Grand Poo-bah of social media.  This is the best social media site currently for connecting with past friends, former classmates and co-workers, and even that long lost love of your life!
  • Twitter - a micro-blogging site where users can follow companies, non-profit organizations and others for short messages.  Certainly not a replacement for Facebook, but compliments it.
  • LinkedIn - a professional social media Web site for all types of professionals.  A user’s LinkedIn profile can be set up to be just like a resume and makes it easier to find employment in this digital age.
  • Pinterest - a place where others can follow each other’s pictures of various inspirational pictures, food, exercise tips, etc.

How can you secure yourself?  Come back to Part II of this article coming soon!