Social media sites can be a great way to stay in touch with family, friends, and co-workers, and to make connections with new groups of people. They can also be a great way for others to collect information about you -- particularly if you leave your profile open.
The amount of information you share and with whom is ultimately up to you. But be smart about what you post and take advantage of privacy settings.
- Status updates
- Relationship status
- Date of birth, cell number, background, etc.
If you have not altered your privacy settings, you may be surprised at the number of people who see exactly what you are doing, when you are doing it, and where you are doing it.
- Create groups/circles of people and use those groups to restrict who sees your social networking activity (status updates, check-ins, photos)
- Think before you post anything that is viewable by workmates. Create a group for workmates and hide them from workplace-sensitive posts.
- Consider friend requests before you accept them, especially from people you don't know well (or at all) in real life.
- Regularly check your privacy and security settings, especially when the site makes changes
- Review which applications on your smartphone publishes activity to sites and setup filters as desired.
- Assume that anything you post may become permanent -- this includes updates, comments and photos (because even if the social network itself isn't archiving all your posts, another source could be).