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Queen's University

Social Media Security Best Practices


With the popularity of social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, it has become almost second nature to post personal information online without questioning it. Keep in mind that what you post is available for the world to see and can’t be permanently deleted from the internet. Just because so many people are putting themselves “out there”, doesn’t mean it’s safe.


Here is a list of preventative measures you can take to stay safe on social media sites:


  1. Never give anyone your password. And always use a strong password that no one can guess easily.

  2. Avoid adding people you don’t know as friends or connections. For all you know, these people might be trying to steal your information.

  3. Limit what you share publicly. Don’t put too much personal information online, including your public profile. Details like your date of birth, home address, phone number and family relationships can be used to steal your identity. Find out what your profile looks like to someone who isn’t logged in.

  4. Check the privacy settings for your account to control what people can see. Many sites set their default privacy controls very low, which means you could be sharing personal details with people you wouldn’t normally (including current or potential employers).

  5. Be careful when posting pictures. Is there anything in the picture that you don’t want strangers to see? Avoid posting pictures of valuable objects that you own or that could be used to identify you, like your house or car.

  6. Don’t click suspicious looking links or videos from friends. If it looks like something they wouldn’t normally share, their accounts might be compromised – and yours could be too if you click it.

  7. Don’t share everything you do in real time or continuously “check in” to places online. This tells people you don’t where you are at all times and makes you an easy target for stalking and theft. If you’re using your smartphone and don’t want your location to be known, disable geolocation services just to be safe.

  8. Remember to log out before leaving a public computer. Don’t let strangers have access to your account – or friends who might post embarrassing things while pretending to be you.

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