Cyber Safety Blotter

Social Media Privacy Settings

June 3, 2019 12:26 PM

Who is viewing my account?  How do I regulate who can see my posts? Is it a trusted or verified person? What information can other users see on my account? What could happen if my account is viewed by the wrong people?

These are all questions that a social media user should be frequently asking themselves.  

You should know the people that are following and viewing your profile. There are security and privacy settings that social media platforms offer. This is known as making your account private. Selecting this option restricts who can view your profile.

Once your account is private, not just anyone in the public will be able to search your account and view your posts. The private feature on social media accounts require other users to request permission to follow, like, comment, or share. The user can then filter by accepting or declining these requesting accounts. This setting is a way for users to regulate and know who is viewing their account.

In addition, some social media accounts offer an option to allow you to pick and choose what information can be public versus private. You can allow for the public to view basic account information such as your name, username, and location, if you choose.

A social media bot is a fake account that is used to advertise information or a product. They frequently comment on your posts or direct message you. By using the private account setting you can prevent social media bots from filling your feed with spam.

In addition, social media bots may create an appealing profile and follow you. Their account may include links that are embedded with a virus. Also, some social media bots may be used to steal personal information. They can create conversations posing as a real person. They may begin asking you for certain personal information. Never give out your personal information to people through social media.

If spam or a bot account still makes its way to your account there are additional steps you can take. Most social media accounts have a report feature. You simply click report and list the reason for it. For example, if you are experiencing constant, unwanted messages you can report the account as spam. Another option is to block the user. The account that is blocked will no longer be able to send messages or view the account that has chosen to block the user.


Blog written by MPD Intern Kaitlyn Schaefer.

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