How often have you googled a celebrity to find out information about them? You could probably find out that some common knowledge like their birthday, spouse, and possibly even their height. It would also be easier to find some rather personal information like their sibling’s name or their childhood dog’s name. Now, how often have you googled yourself? Are you shocked by the amount of information someone could read about you? Privacy on social media pages can often be overlooked or forgotten. Here are some easy ways to make sure that your information stays private while using social media and browsing online.

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Instagram

Is your account public or private? A public account gives strangers unlimited access to stories, photos, and friends. To turn your post from public to private, go to settings within the app, scroll down to privacy, and then under “Connections”, select account privacy and select private account. 

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Facebook

Did you know that you can change your privacy settings on Facebook to control who can tag you in posts, see your posts, and who can send you friend requests? These settings can be found under the settings tab. Before accepting random friend requests, make sure you actually know the person. This is especially important with the number of fake Facebook accounts that are created to hack other people’s profiles. You can also create lists that limit the number of information people within those lists can see. There are three types, close friends, acquaintances, and restricted. The close friends list grants almost unlimited access to those people while acquaintances show less information. Restricted is a good list to use when you want to remain friends with someone on Facebook but would prefer them to only see certain highlights. 

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Browsing the Web

How many times have you accepted cookies when entering a website without thinking about the information you’re putting out there? Cookies collect data about you, your internet habits, and help websites better target their ads to you. There are multiple browsers that you can download that will block websites from collecting cookies from you. Anytime you use a public computer you should always go back and delete your cookies so that the next user will not have access to your information. You can also delete cookies on your personal computer however any websites you are logged into will be forgotten. 

Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

Some other good practices to use to keep your personal data safe would be using two-factor authentication when offered, using a variety of passwords for your accounts so that they will not easily be hacked, and checking twice before hopping on a public wifi network to check private information. While browsing online, make sure you double-check the permissions you give to each website – sometimes a website might have access to your location, mic, and even camera. Data protection laws are starting to crack down on the information websites are allowed to take from you. These laws will help keep your information private. Your privacy should not be overlooked, take the time today to ensure your information is safe!