Social Media

How to Evaluate Social Networking Sites for Safety

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Social media networking and social media marketing have taken over our world of Internet use. It is important we understand which sites are actually good for our use.

With the boom in social media networking and social media marketing, we have suddenly all become involved in a very new way of communicating with everyone. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have exploded across the world. The numbers of users are always increasing, and that means we have to stop and think about our privacy and our safety. Social media is not as safe as you may think. It is easy to get lost in the excitement of sharing and being a part of a community online, but it is worth evaluating any website before using your social media account to join it, or, to become a member of that social media site. This article looks at some of the most important ways to evaluate a social site, or any other site before joining that site with your social media account.

How to Evaluate Social Networking Sites for Safety

  • Read reviews before joining. You are not the only one concerned with the safety of social media sites. There are a number specialist companies who review and monitor social media sites, and so staying in touch with what is safe, and what is not, is extremely important. Even the most popular sites may have problems from time to time.
  • Understand how the site works. Social sites make it easy for us to join. It will take a lot longer to understand how to use a site, and so it is worth spending the time to read and learn how to use any particular site. Facebook, for example, regularly changes the way it operates and we can be sharing more information than we would like to unless we ‘opt out’ of a new option they have employed. Keep yourself informed on how sites are changing, and how that will affect your existing information. Make sure you are fully aware of how your information is being shared, and be very clear on how to use all the privacy and information sharing settings on your chosen site. In other words, make sure you understand their website design.
  • Read the privacy policy. Each site will have a privacy policy. These companies are very clear about what they will and won’t do with your information. Reading a privacy policy may not be very interesting but it will let you know how well your information is protected. Contact the site directly if you have any concerns.
  • Peruse the other users. Some sites are safer than others. That is just a simple fact. The more sophisticated the site, the more sophisticated the other users will be. Facebook is used widely but does sell advertising space and so your information is always up for grabs. Newer sites may be even worse! Other users will also indicate the quality of the social media site.

The best way to stay safe online is to limit the amount of information on them. Never place anything online that you would not want anyone else to see or know about. Whenever you store information on any site, or communicate with others, you should know that information is accessible to someone else, no matter how private it may seem.

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