Pause Before You Post… Think Before You Tweet

Computer keyboardDo you know anyone who posted private information about a friend or girlfriend/boyfriend online? Have you ever posted something and then regretted it, or deleted it? Sharing information online, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or another social networking site is something you should really think about before you do it. Read on for some tips on how to be smart and safe about what you share online.

Some things to take into consideration:

  • If your parents or family members, religious leader, health care provider, teacher, boss, college admissions counselor, etc. – saw it what you wrote or shared, would you be embarrassed?
  • If you’re posting pictures or making comments about others – would you feel good about the same kind of information being shared about? If not, don’t do it.
  • If you’re ready to share information, ask yourself if it’s something exciting or really important that you think others would honestly like to know about. If not, save it. Remember – less can be more.
  • Even if you un-tag yourself from a picture or delete a post, it stays archived online.
  • Face it, don’t Facebook it. Facebook can sometimes be a way to escape real life and avoid confrontation, but in the long run it can ruin a relationship or make you feel more disconnected. Take the time to get together with your friends in person.
  • Just because you trust your friends with information, doesn’t mean you should post on your timeline or theirs. Remember, some parents have access to their kids Facebook, and they may be seeing your posts.

Things to keep in mind about personal safety on Facebook:

  • Use the controls to make sure that you don’t show up in search results. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Think about it – if you don’t know them in real life, how do you know they are who they say they are online?
  • Don’t “check in”. Turn off the ability for Facebook (or your phone) to track where you. Keep your private information private.
  • Don’t ever put your phone number, address, or other important personal information online.

Even though it might seem like everyone is sharing their every thought, picture, location, research shows that “55% of online teens say they have decided not to post something online out of concern that it might reflect poorly on them in the future”. Keep up the good work.