Social Media and You

When it comes to social media, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook are some of the commonly used forms. Google+ connects to a Google account that includes Gmail, calendars, a bookstore (also known as Google Play), among many other features. Facebook is a more specialized medium that involves users being connected, not only by being friends, but also through games and similar interests. Posts made on the feed in Facebook, also known as a wall, are visible to all friends.

In Google+, updates can be shared with different circles that a person organizes his or her contacts into, which can easily allow a person to share posts with just a relevant group of friends or family members. Twitter is a condensed form of social media that involves the posting and reading of short updates, or ‘tweets’. This seemingly simple medium is used in a variety of ways spanning from friends posting for other friends, to causes and news station posting for interested masses, and even celebrities and businesses posting about events, sales, features, and updates. The simple convenience of glancing at a feed without having apps, chat invites, or updates make Twitter an alternative for other social networks.

When displaying any sort of personal information online there is a risk of this information being seen, stored, and possibly utilized by others in unwanted ways. Google+ and Facebook have account privacy settings that limit what others can see, and can even make a person unsearchable. Twitter allows users to protect their tweets and limit who can follow them by accepting or rejecting requests to be followed. The privacy settings on most social media are frequently not, by default, set to the most secure setting, and it can be beneficial to manually enter account settings which remedy this.

Personal accounts in social media, such as Facebook and Google+, are frequently targets for account hacking by people who want to steal information and money electronically. To reduce the chances of having your information and account stolen, be wary of generic messages from inactive friends, weird popups on your computer, websites with popups in general, and strangers messaging you with any sort of personal questions or requests. It is pertinent for everyone to have up-to-date antivirus and malware detection programs on their computers.

When it comes to passwords, changing your Facebook or other social media password frequently, as well as having a complex password, can greatly lower chances of having an account stolen or hacked. Taking a leaf from the NWMSU laptop password requirements is a great way to make a password: at least 8 characters with at least one uppercase and lowercase letter, at least one number, and at least one special character. Always stay away from including easily obtained information in a password. For example, never include birthdays, names, or initials in your password.

Anyone who has had a security breach within their chosen social media can tell you how much of an embarrassment and a pain it can be. Anythingat all can be posted or messaged in your behalf and can represent a significant social, personal, and even professional danger to anyone. The usefulness of these social platforms demands their use in the technological realm of today, and this use can be done responsibly and mindfully.

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