Facing Up To Facebook

You know how Facebook works. You post a status update, share some photos and maybe write on someone’s wall. You’re in control of what’s out there about you, right? Nope.

Tag: You’re It

Let’s say one of your friends tags you in a photo. All of your friends (and your friend’s friends) may be able to see the photo and comment on it. If other friends “like” it, then even more of their friends – friends, relatives, neighbors and people you don’t even know – can see it too. If the photo shows bad or questionable behavior, it can be damaging or embarrassing for you and/or the people you care about.

Social media provides a way to share and laugh about stuff with your friends. However, there are real risks to making your personal information public on social media sites:

  • A trail of inappropriate photos and comments can hurt your relationships and possibly harm your reputation when you move on to college, jobs or other opportunities.
  • Identity thieves may steal your name, birth date, address, phone number or email address to open fake accounts with your information. Tighten your privacy settings on sites like Facebook to restrict who can see your personal information, photos, tags, etc.
  • Internet predators may also attempt to stalk teens or lure them into bad situations. Don’t be “friends” with strangers, and remember that people online are not always who they claim to be. Never share your name, age, school, etc. with random people online.

Play It Safe

Be careful about what you post online and delete or block whatever’s in bad taste. Here’s a quick rule: If you don’t want your parents to see it, it’s probably not a good idea to post it. Scrubbing your online reputation is really hard to do, so it’s much easier to keep it clean in the first place.

You can count on us to always keep your information safe. We’ll never share anything that will get you (or us) into trouble!