My Results: Social Media & Online Sharing
Communicate About Privacy
Talk to friends and family about what information you prefer to keep private, and what you would or wouldn't be comfortable with them posting about you.
Make sure you know your friends' and family's preferences about online privacy. Before you refer to other people in your posts, post photos of them, or tag them in posts or photos, ask yourself how they would feel about the post. If you don’t know someone’s preferences, try to avoid mentioning them on social media. Use this handy decision guide as a reminder:
- Flowchart for Deciding Whether to Post: I Took a Photo of My Friend That I Want to Share... Now What?
- Talk to your children about social media privacy policies: Having a Meaningful Discussion About Privacy
Everyone has the right to participate in social media. If you are a survivor of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and/or stalking, it is important to learn ways to stay connected while protecting your privacy and security.
- Guide written by the National Network to End Domestic Violence in partnership with Facebook, available in several languages: Privacy & Safety on Facebook: A Guide for Survivors of Abuse
Think About Consequences
Before you post information or images on social media, ask yourself:
- If this post became public, what would my extended family think? My employer or a potential employer? A neighbor?
Learn About Online Privacy
Periodically search for yourself using a search engine to see what information others can see about you. Try using multiple search engines, as well as including an image search. Make sure to perform the search using a private browsing window as search engines customize results if you’re signed in, and/or based on what results you’ve clicked in the past.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Review your privacy settings on your social media and other accounts and on your apps and communication devices, to make sure you're sharing what you want to share. Use these guides to help you identify and change the settings most important to you:
- Directory of Resources for Managing Your Settings: Privacy Settings How-To's
- Worksheet: Managing Your Footprint: A Privacy Settings Checklist (pdf)
On social-media sites, use the privacy settings that limit what other people can post about you, such as:
- Requiring your approval for people to post on your timeline or tag you in photos;
- Blocking other people from "checking you into" a place, as that shares your location with others.
Privacy Tips for Businesses
When you’re running a small business, it’s helpful to actively manage your reputation.
- Your profiles on social media and review sites are likely to be in the top search results for your business name. If you manage and update those profiles, your customers and business contacts are more likely to see the information that you want them to see.
- Comprehensive Steps for Reputation Management: The Online Reputation Management Guide (Disclaimer: This advice comes from a marketing firm, so it contains a few plugs for their services, but it is generally sound.)
- Make sure only trusted employees can post on social media sites using the official business account; one inappropriate or misinterpreted post could cause significant damage to your business’s reputation. One way to minimize misinterpreted posts is to require multiple employees to review posts before they are made public. Also, be sure to remove access when an employee leaves.
If customers, clients, or donors contact you, don't pass the communication along or post it publicly without asking them. This applies to both positive and negative feedback, as well as other types of information.
- If someone gives you a great review, ask them before you post their name or photo or anything else identifiable about them.
- If you're quoting something someone posted on a public site, or you're responding to a review, don't add other information you know about the individual without asking them.