Hi there,

Thank you for reaching out about your concerns about your privacy on social media. As a business owner, you have a right to be concerned about using your own pictures and videos being put out on the internet, especially because you use your name as a part of your branding. But, there are many different ways to protect yourself on the internet and still use social media as a great marketing tool to help your online business flourish. Social media marketing is a huge part of my job as an online marketer. A large amount of your audience will find and connect with your brand on social media. It is important to use it as a great tool to grow your audience and promote your products.

I wanted to give you some best practices for protecting your own information online. These can help you avoid some of the biggest privacy issues such as hacking or impersonation, stalking and harassment, and other concerns related to others having access to your personal information. In modern day social media, there are a lot of rules in place to help protect you from hackers or third-party companies. Most platforms have given users a lot of control over who has access to their information through their security settings. Also, companies such as Facebook have privacy policies in place that require them to tell you just how they are using your information and who they are giving it to.

In order to keep your information safe, you need to start with creating a strong password. Some suggestions for creating a great password from a textbook entitled “Creating Values with Social Media Analytics” by Gohar F. Khan are as follows:

  • Passwords should be at least ten characters long
  • Should contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols
  • Should not contain any personal information such as birthdays, phone number or names
  • Should not contain “dictionary words”
  • Should not contain alphabetical sequences or keyboard sequences
  • Have different passwords for different platforms
  • Memorize your login info or store it away in a safe place

On most of the major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) there is a two-factor authentication option for your passwords. This means that every time you log into the account on a new device, you need a code (usually sent to your phone number or email) to access the account. This allows for an extra layer of protection from anyone trying to hack into your account.

On top of creating secure passwords, it’s important to be aware of devices you use to log into your accounts. Try to avoid using public computers, tablets or other devices but if you must, make sure that you do not save any passwords or other information and be sure to log off before leaving. This way, the next person to use the device won’t be able to access any of your information. Turning off any geolocation tags on your posts will help protect your location. Many social media platforms give you an option to turn off Location Services when using the app. By turning it off, the app cannot collect any data pertaining to your location and therefore cannot share it with any third-party companies or hackers who may have gained access to their systems.

Social media has become one of the largest marketing strategies. It is an essential part of creating and maintaining an online business. We cannot afford to ignore it as a tool. This is where you can find your audience, learn more about them and communicate with them. We can still use your name, photos and videos while still being both safe and professional online. You shouldn’t overshare any personal information online, but by sharing certain content, you can find yourself connecting with your customers better than before. If you are aware of the best practices of using social media, you can protect yourself.

Please contact me with any further questions!

Kelsey Bross, Online Marketer

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