Social media sites are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, share pictures and stories, or network for work.  If you love your iPhone, Blackberry or laptop – here are a few tips to keep in mind while you use social media.

Sharing.  When you post, tweet, share, comment, check in, geocode or use your location, you’re sending a shout out to all your “friends” letting them know where you are and where you’re not – home.  Be aware of what you say and leave out details like your address, phone and any information someone could use to rob or impersonate you.

Friending.  Yes, I know your friend’s cousin’s neighbor wants to be your friend.  I think that was him, right?  Often fraudsters impersonate real people and try to be your “friend.”  The concern here is giving fraudsters private information about you and your location or them giving you viruses through clickable links or attachments.

It’s only my friends.  Well, actually, it’s not.  Social media sites vary in the amount of information they share with others.  It’s important to customize your settings and configurations to make sure your information is safe, secure and most importantly, private.

Share your location?  Many applications ask your permission to share your location.  They pinpoint your location using GPS, so your precise location is known.  Be aware that when you post pictures with Show Location enabled, your location may be published with them.

Social media is a great tool and a fun toy.  Simply remember that the internet is a public place, so stay aware of your surroundings and never post anything you wouldn’t want the world to see.

by Nannette, Vice President, Technology Solutions