How to maintain Privacy on Social Networks

It’s that age-old question – well, at least since Facebook first came into existence: how to maintain your online privacy while benefiting from the many advantages of social networks?

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The ongoing concerns about the role of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US and its international partners have had even the most social media fanatical of us hovering our finger over the “deactivate” button on Facebook. And with the creeping changes by Google and Facebook to seemingly grab more and more of our information to sell on to advertisers and perhaps even submit to government demands for information, it’s definitely something to be concerned about. However luckily there are some ways to maintain your online privacy – here’s a few of them:

1. Encryption:

This is pretty obvious but is the best way forward when it comes to peace of mind. Why not ensure all your disks are encrypted so as to ensure that your laptop doesn’t fall into the wrong hands? The latest versions of Apple’s iOS automatically encrypt your smartphone or tablet if a passcode is enabled. On Android devices, encryption is on the settings menu. Just remember to make your password strong!

2. Get rid of the cookies:

Remember to wipe your history and to disable all cookies on your computer. Try changing your browser settings so that the cache is cleared each session. You can also go into the privacy settings to ensure it never remembers your history. This ensures you’re not tracked online, although anonymous tracking is becoming more and more popular.

3. Turn on 2-step Authentication in Gmail:

In order for your Gmail account to be accessed from a new device, you will need a code to access it. This means that IF someone manages to sabotage your account, they won’t be able to sign into your account from a separate computer.

4. Review the apps that have access to your social media accounts:

It’s important to regularly check out which applications have access to your social media accounts. If you do download applications make sure you’re careful – if they ask for your contacts and to post to your account think about whether you want this or not.

5. Put a Google Alert on your name:

If you go to Google Alerts you can enter your name with quotations around it. This is a fantastic way to work out what’s being said about you online and for you to monitor it effectively.

6. Get an app so you can remotely wipe your smartphone/tablet/laptop if you lose one of them:

Some of these apps are amazing and can show where the thief stole your phone and wipe all the data. All of them allow you to do this from a separate device.

We hope these tips help you find some peace of mind online. Happy browsing!

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