Five things you should not do on Facebook and Twitter

Five Things You Should not do on Facebook and Twitter


If the more than 750 million users of Facebook are any indication, people are enjoying the ability to create connections online. Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter may be based on relationships, but to become truly successful while using these websites, you must be prepared to share your personal information. The underlying assumption is that in order to gain friends and followers, you must compromise your digital privacy in some respect. You can still practice privacy protection and interact with others on the World Wide Web — you just need to know what mistakes to steer clear of. This article will focus on protecting your Internet privacy by knowing the five top actions to avoid when socializing on Facebook and Twitter.


Avoid these five things you should not do on Facebook and Twitter

When you first registered for your Facebook or Twitter account, you were made aware of the recommended privacy settings and instructed how to safeguard your personal information. The policies on Facebook and Twitter change as rapidly as their user numbers, and it’s difficult to keep up with the changing privacy regulations. Nevertheless, if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can have his own fan page hacked, it’s time to become smart about protecting your digital privacy when using sites like Facebook and Twitter. Protect your account and your personal data by avoiding these top five social networking mistakes:

  • Accepting all friend and follower requests
  • Allowing untrustworthy third-party apps to gain access to your personal information
  • Posting status updates that reveal sensitive personal information
  • Sharing inappropriate photos or videos
  • Allowing your personal data to be placed on inappropriate lists or fan pages
  • Losing control of your friends and followers lists.
  • When you’re just starting out on Facebook or Twitter, it’s tempting to accept each and every friend or follow request you receive. On Twitter specifically, if you don’t have your Tweets protected, anyone will be able to follow you and see your updates.

-If you’re concerned about privacy protection on Twitter, be sure to set your account to protect your Tweets, and only accept followers you know and trust.

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Facebook users occasionally receive friend requests from people they don’t know or aren’t sure of. On Facebook, it’s never a good idea to accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. When these unknown people have access to your profile, they can see personal information like photos and updates. You could also become a victim of social status jacking.


Avoid third-party apps on Facebook and Twitter

You may have joined Facebook for the connections you can make, but perhaps you now spend a large portion of your time playing with apps like FarmVille. Unfortunately, many third-party apps on Facebook transmit personal information to large companies. You may enjoy playing with these apps, but it’s best to maintain privacy control and avoid them altogether. Although Twitter uses slightly different third-party applications, allowing companies to access your Twitter account could also result in personal data being shared.

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Control your social network by knowing what types of status updates to post

Social networks encourage sharing, but there is a point when you can share too much personal information. It’s tempting to share with your friends or followers that you’re going to be away on a tropical vacation for two weeks. But if you do so, you may well be handing over your possessions to a potential home intruder. It’s never safe to post updates about your day-to-day life, especially on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. You could not only open yourself to a potential break-in but also lose your insurance if your provider finds out you’re compromising your electronic privacy.


Avoid sharing inappropriate photos and videos on Facebook and Twitter

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Facebook and Twitter make uploading and sharing your photos and videos quick and easy. Uploading photos from your iPhone straight to the Web, using a text message or apps, definitely takes the work out of posting photos. Yet this instant access has resulted in people not always stopping to think before they upload, and inappropriate photos posted online could potentially create problems in your professional or personal life. Use common sense when uploading photos to Twitter and Facebook.


Protect your digital privacy by controlling which fan pages and Twitter lists you appear on

When you first use Twitter, you want to make an impression. You may follow as many people as you possibly can and network with hash tags and trending topics. It can be gratifying to see your profile become part of your followers’ Twitter lists. Yet if you don’t monitor your inclusion on these lists, you could compromise your electronic privacy or your online reputation. Always monitor which Twitter lists you have been included on, and if they’re inappropriate, ask to be removed.

Although Facebook “like” and fan pages require you to actually click on them, it’s best to avoid these pages. Clicking “like” could open up your profile to companies or individuals who can (and will) access your personal information.

When you spend time on Facebook and Twitter, it’s not only difficult to know how much to share but also which parts of these social networks can specifically violate your website privacy. You can begin by avoiding these top five things you should not do on Facebook and Twitter.


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Shelly Wutke is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, BC. Shelly has been published in Vancouver-based Love Magazine, in local newspapers and on various websites.

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