Privacy and Social Media

The media lately has been full of stories about security failures at large information systems and failures to understand basic information security.

Ashley Madison, the US government employee database hack, and a certain senior US government official who thought having an email server in her home with Secret Service agents outside was good information security are just a few examples.  

However,  there many more smaller intrusions into personal privacy because of poor computer security especially where social media is concerned and we don’t hear nearly as much about them.

This article is a friendly reminder about privacy and security when working with social media.

I share a few key thoughts and this list is far from being all inclusive!

My first point is that nothing is foolproof especially when it comes to protecting yourself on social media.

You can’t outsource your responsibility for your privacy and security online.

Stay current with what’s happening in the industry (Twitter is a great took for this along with Feedly.) and know your tools!    

You should be familiar with the privacy settings for all your social media tools.

Remember, not every company broadcasts their changes which is why you should regularly follow their forums (if they have them), relevant blogs, and independent subject matter experts (SMEs).

Passwords should be strong (At least eight characters comprised of alphas, numerics, and symbols).

Don’t use the same password on more than one tool!

Change your passwords periodically!

(Yes, I know that I’m causing you a lot more work but you’ll thank me someday!)

Then there’s your personal information!

Be careful what you share on social media.

Dates of birth and social security numbers are a good thing not to disclose.

Information pertaining to spouses and children is another good thing to keep off of social media.

Location details such as home address and home phone number should never be published.

Another good suggestion is not to post your vacation photos until you get back from your vacation!

Update your virus, malware, and firewall software as frequently as they come out.

Privacy and security are not just concerns when developing a  social media program especially in this connected age that we live in.

Be careful out there!

Don’t allow yourself to become another anonymous statistic!

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!


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