Online Security: Who’s looking at YOU?

These days, we share a lot of our lives, thoughts, feelings and personal details on the internet. Bloggers especially share a lot of information and the vast majority of it will be public. With a large percentage of people on Facebook (1.11 billion people and growing), Twitter or some social network, have you ever stopped to consider what personal details you might be publishing out there for the world to see? More worryingly have you ever wondered who might be reading your blog posts/status updates/tweets? They are generally open for anyone in the world to view, and not everyone is reading them with good intentions. Here are a few pointers I’ve put together on protecting your privacy on social networks that really get you thinking about how much to share in the future! 
♢ If you are using your smartphone to take a photo, the Geotag feature might be switched on, giving away your location for all to see. If you tweet, Instagram or upload this to Facebook usually it will share your geotag location. Make sure your GPS is switched off to stop this happening. 
♢ Taking photos on holiday or on big days out is a great idea, but don’t tell people too much about where you are, as this will give people a good opportunity to break into your home, knowing you are far away.
♢ Be aware pictures could contain more personal information than you realised! Fashion bloggers taking outfit posts often post in the street, giving away their house name/number or identifying where they live. Check my blog picture to the left- I’ve done this myself! Luckily it’s quite a small picture so doesn’t give a huge amount away. 
♢ Remember to look at what is in the background of your photos – your expensive electrical items like your laptop, iPad or phone could be on display, luring criminals and burglars to your home. 
♢ Always remember your employer could be reading your social networks. Think about what you say and also the time of day you post – should you be at work? People writing “Oh, I’m so hungover” when they called in sick for example, it will be seen by someone. So many people get in trouble with their employers for posting too much online, it’s just not worth it! 
♢ Password hints – Obviously you wouldn’t post your password online (well, you’d think not!) but you could easily post clues to your security questions which are usually something like ‘What’s the name of your first pet?’ with statuses like “I miss my dog Poochie, he died 10 years ago today!” etc. 
♢ This isn’t about security, but something to think about – they have found there are links between things we see on the internet and depression. There are many reasons for this but one to think about is what people might feel when they are reading your blog/social network page. Seeing a perfect, idealistic view of life, or a blog where the person is constantly reviewing the most luxurious, high end products is effecting some people’s self esteem, making them feel like they don’t have the best products, or they are not invited to all the events. The flipside is this isn’t a clear view on life, we don’t often post if we have had a rubbish day so it’s difficult not make it too one sided. 
Remember these points and keep safe online ladies! 

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