Nowadays it seems like everyone is connected to some sort of social media. University students stay in touch with Facebook and Youtube allows anyone to broadcast their opinion on anything of their choosing. But while you want to feel free to communicate as much as you want with people throughout the world, you should also think about your privacy and what sort of information you're actually giving out. It might not be an issue if you're promoting your business but could be a concern for your personal information.

Before signing up for any social media site or service you should make sure that you fully read their privacy policy. There are some that are going to be more secure than others and you definitely don't want to leave yourself open to anyone having the ability to access your information. Some might allow anyone from a friend to an past school teacher to view your profile while others might even sell your email address to those that will want to send you spam.

Once you know their different privacy regulations you can sometimes decide how selective you are with showing off the things that you post to that site. For instance, if you've made an online ad for your law office (view website), and want to link it to relevant sites then you're likely going to want it to be accessible to as many people as possible. But, if you're posting pictures of your trip down south than you might only want friends and family to be able to view them.

You might find that through time it's not just corporations and people that you've never met that you want to keep your information safe from. There are many people who want to be able to share some details of their life on sites like Facebook with everyone from their old classmates and people they work with on, and other things that are just for those closest to them. Many social networking sites are designed so that you can pass information in different ways. You might have some pictures on higher privacy settings or even eliminate the wall setting so that people can only send you private messages.

While you might not be thinking about your privacy settings while you're still in school and having fun, you should remember that the information that you put online does not go away very quickly. You don't want something personal or embarrassing to come up a few years down the road when you're applying to work with esteemed colleagues or meeting someone new. This is why you should always take the time to understand the privacy policies of the site that you're posting on.

How can your improve your online privacy and security?

Copyright (c) 2008 - has been taken over by