Editor's note: Chris Payne is a MBA student in the School of Business at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and currently enrolled in ISM 7505: Inbound Information Technology.
Maybe you are new to social media or consider yourself a seasoned veteran. Regardless, it is always a good idea to review safety guidelines when using social media. When it comes to safety be sure to keep these seven thing in mind.
! – Delete Does Not Exist
It is critically important to remember that anything you publish should be considered permanent out in cyberspace. It is wise to stop and think before rushing into making any remarks that may be inappropriate, offensive, or simply poor taste. A good measure is to consider how your words would be received if they were published on the front page of the newspaper.
! – Links that Look Good
It can be incredibly tempting to want to click on every link you come across and every link that is sent to you. Beware, not all links have good intentions and actually may be hiding spyware and viruses. It is wise to refrain from clicking links unless you are certain of the sender’s identity and intentions.
! – Have We Met Before?
While it can seem like some folks are in a popularity race to accumulate the most friends or followers choose yours carefully. Only connect socially with people you know in real life or others close to you can validate. Establishing a connection with someone carrying malicious intent like stealing your identity is the last person you would ever consider a friend!
! – Privacy Protections
It can seem boring and cumbersome to look into the settings of each social media site you belong to, but it’s really important. You need to learn what protections are available and how to apply them to ensure your experience is both positive and safe. A periodic review of privacy settings should be scheduled to ensure you are up to date with the latest changes.
! – Computer Checks
Make sure you are running the latest versions of anti-virus software on a periodic basis so that it keeps a pulse on any unintended consequences of your activities online. These programs play a vital role behind the scenes to alert you to potential danger and rectify situations that may arise.
! – Work and Home Life
Lastly, don’t risk ruining your reputation (or worse) by engaging in social media in a way that is unacceptable to your employer. For example, if someone is complaining about your company and you enter the conversation be very careful how you convey your thoughts. Companies have grown particularly sensitive to how they are being represented by employees casting different images of the company.
! – Unpredictable Passwords
Passwords are essential when it comes to keep you safe using social media. Take the time to make unique passwords (uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers) for each site and change them periodically. Do not use predictable patterns when crafting them and never write them down where they will be found by others. Keeping your access secure is paramount so don’t scrimp on passwords.