Some Face-saving Tips for reaping the benefits and avoiding the dangers associated with electronic social networking:
- Don't expect privacy on social networking sites. Even "secure" sites can be hacked easily, so information you post is essentially available to the public - even if that was not your intention.
- Discourage hackers. Create complex alphanumeric passwords, and make sure that they are unrelated to any of the information you have posted (i.e., your birthday).
- Keep your identity as safe as possible: for example, to adjust your privacy setting on Facebook go to http://stedwards.facebook.com/privacy.php
- Consider posting only information that is already available in the public domain when you create your personal profile.
- Post general information rather than specific details, such as
- Birthday - September 19 (no year)
- Address - Washington, DC (no street address or residence hall & room #)
- Phone number - omit
- Consider the image your postings project. What would a prospective employer think of you? A scholarship awards committee? De-tag or remove inappropriate pictures of yourself.
- Watch what you say and post about others. False statements can subject you to charges of defamation or libel; photos posted without someone's knowledge 'and consent can be construed as an "invasion of privacy." Generally, follow the "Golden Rule" - Treat others as you want to be treated.
- Use Facebook in moderation. Don't substitute the virtual world for the real world.