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Posted in Online Savvy | June 2013

You posted what?!

personal privacy
Your Facebook page is your own personal page, but there are still some common sense etiquette and security rules that you should probably follow—for your safety as well as the health of your relationships with your Facebook friends!

  1. Don’t share funny or unflattering photos of friends, especially if you are planning to tag them (which will allow all of their friends to see the photo too). In fact, it’s a good idea to check with people before you post any pictures of them or of their children.And speaking of photos of children, don’t tag their full names or any identifying information like a birth date. While the risk is probably low, especially if you’ve set your privacy settings appropriately, you never want to run the risk of a predator collecting personal information about a child that could be used to locate and lure him or her away.
  1. Don’t announce the dates when you’ll be on vacation and away from your home, and if you have teenagers make sure they never announce that they are home alone. While obviously you trust your friends and family members, you never know who else may gain access to a Facebook account. It could be hacked or viewed by someone looking over a friend’s shoulder at a coffee shop. As a general rule of thumb, don’t post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want a stranger to know.
  2. Don’t complain about your boss, your teacher, your mother-in-law, your spouse—or anyone who matters! You might be frustrated and just want to blow off some steam, but there is always the chance that your words will travel right back to the person you’re talking about, making the situation even worse. Save your complaints for in-person chats over coffee.
  3. Don’t post the year you were born. It’s nice that Facebook announces your birthday to all your friends because it virtually guarantees a flood of good wishes on your wall, but it can be a potential identity theft security risk for someone to know your exact birth date. If you still want to make sure your birthday is announced by Facebook, at least leave out the year you were born when setting up your profile.
  4. Don’t get too cozy on your teenager’s Facebook page. Discuss how involved you’re going to be in your teenager’s online world so you both know what to expect from each other. If you are their Facebook friend, respect the same boundaries that you have offline and let them feel that they do have some privacy, even if you’re monitoring their online activities for their own safety. Think carefully before you decide to post on your teen’s wall or jump into a conversation with their friends.

For more suggestions on what you should and shouldn’t post on Facebook, visit Internet/Network Security and the Facebook safety center.

409627 CAN/US (04/15)


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