Whether you like it or not, social media has become a part of our everyday lives, gaining more and more popularity amongst all age groups. As of March 2016, Facebook had 989 million mobile daily active users on average, 1.65 billion monthly active users, and 1.51 billion mobile monthly active users. About 84.2% of the daily active users are outside of the U.S and Canada. With so much popularity comes issues as well. Hackers/criminals are on the hunt daily to access people’s private accounts, find out where they live and so on. With so much of our information floating around the internet, it is important to be aware of what to put on Facebook and what to keep private.

Privacy- The number one thing that new (or experienced) Facebook users should do is to make their profile private. When you do this, only someone who is your Facebook friend can see your profile and activity. Everyone else will not be able to view the pictures, posts, and personal details you add to customize your profile. This is important because it helps protect information that you do not want strangers knowing. If people want to be your friend on Facebook, they have to send you a friend request and you have to accept it. If you do not know someone personally, no matter if they have mutual friends or not, do not accept them. You never know people’s agendas, and their intentions could not be the best.

Profile Details- Your profile has many different options of what you can display. Phone number, address, where you work, where you live etc. I do not recommend putting any of this information down. If you must have it on your profile for family and friends, make sure that information is set to the right privacy setting so they are the only ones to see it. The more information you give out on the internet, the more people know about you and the better the opportunity they have to take advantage.

Status Updates- When posting to Facebook, most people do it to update others on their lives, their adventures, their kids and anything that they feel people would enjoy reading about. It is important to be aware of what you are posting though. For example, if you are going on vacation, it may not be wise to let people you may not know very well that you will not be home. If you have your address listed, that’s double the trouble because now people have your address and know you are not home.

Social media is a great way to connect with family, long lost friends, current friends, and acquaintances. But it is also imperative that you be cautious when posting personal information, you never know whose hands it will land in.

Facebook Safety 101