Hello and hope you’ve all had a great weekend!
It’s time to get back to the “Spring Clean Your Life in 10 Steps” series, and the next topic covers thoroughly reexamining the information you share on your social media platforms. Follow these easy steps to ensure that you’re putting your best “face” forward.
Check your Privacy Settings
Facebook and other social media giants are constantly updating their privacy settings, and it’s important to stay on top of these changes so that you can ensure your personal information is as public or private as you want it to be. Make it a frequent habit to check your profile settings and change them if necessary. At the same time, check the Apps you’ve installed that may have the ability to post to your social media profiles to make sure that your information isn’t being used in ways you don’t want it to be.
Here are some instructions for updating your privacy setting on the big three—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Click on the picture of the gear in the upper right hand corner of your screen near the “Home” link. Then click on “Privacy Settings”. There are two sections you can modify: “Who can see my stuff?” and “Who can look me up?” Read through your options and update accordingly. You may also want to check the settings in the “Security” tab as well. This link can be found in the vertical navigation on the left hand side of the screen.
By sheer nature of Twitter’s simplicity, there’s not really any way to make your profile more private aside from protecting your tweets so that only those you approve can see them. To do so, click on the picture of the gear in the upper right hand corner of your profile screen and then click on “Settings”. From the “Account” view, scroll down the page to the section that says “Tweet privacy” and check off the box that says “Protect my Tweets”.
Click on your name in the upper right hand corner of your screen, and then click on “Settings”. From there, click on “Account” in the bottom left hand corner of your screen and you’ll see a list of privacy controls that you can modify as desired.
Update your Picture
Regardless of whether we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, give some thought as to what picture will best represent you. Keep in mind that even if your Facebook page is only intended for your personal use, anyone can view your profile photo. It’s best to go with a more professional pic, and I would recommend that you keep it consistent across all of your social media profiles so that people recognize your personal “brand”.
And while you’re at it, check through all the other pictures of you that are up online to make sure no one else has tagged you in any inappropriate photos you’d rather, say, your boyfriend’s mother, your boss, your grandmother or a prospective employer not see.
Accurate Contact Information
Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date on your profiles so that people have the correct phone number, email address, etc to get in touch with you.
Refresh the Information in your Profile
A few years ago when you were back in college, it might have been okay to list that some of your “interests” included flip cup, beer pong, and doing keg stands. But you probably want to rethink making that kind of information public now. Make no mistake—people will judge you based on what you choose to share in your profile so be wise about it. List interests that currently matter to you, as well as volunteering, skills, and organization involvement—this is especially relevant on LinkedIn. And speaking of LinkedIn, be sure that your profile is consistent with your most up-to-date resume, which we addressed in Step 5 of the “Spring Clean Your Life” series.
Cleanse your Contacts
Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers…thoroughly evaluate all of your contacts and consider removing those Facebook friends who aren’t really “friends” or who are toxic to you. Check your Twitter followers for spam—I get quite a few so-called followers of no relevancy. You can use a tool like Manage Filter to help you filter your Twitter followers.
Change your Password
With so much online fraud going on these days, you should make it a priority to frequently change your password login information. If anything, aim to do this at least once per year.
Set Up Google Alerts
This way you’ll know where you’re showing up on the web and you can do damage control if it’s not something you want out there.
Got any other tips to share? Leave a comment!