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Protecting your private social media accounts, Part III

Change your privacy settings to create a protected account

Sometimes you just have to block people

I’ve been spending some free time exploring Google+ this past week. Some of my friends prefer it to FB. I can see its advantages but seldom visit my account. When I did a few days ago, I was surprised to see an invitation from a former friend to join one of his circles. Because we had been out of contact for several years, I thought, “Maybe he’s decided to forget the past and reconnect.” Apparently not…  The only post visible to me on that (private) circle was an XXX-rated, over-the-top flaming insult. What?! –I responded by asking him if there “was any reason I should not take his (solitary) post as a direct insult?” It took him days to answer back–“No, it was just a mistake…That’s all.” As one who doesn’t enjoy pointless conflict, I then said–“OK, those things can happen.” …Sure, buddy, seems to me more like sending someone a bomb in the mail and saying–“yes, that was from me; I guess I mailed it to your address by accident.–Whoa, did it blow up?” I subsequently blocked this former friend from Google+, LinkedIn and opted out of FB search engine visibility.

But, I digress…


Protecting your private account tweets

Isn’t the purpose of Twitter to post whatever comes to mind with no few, if any, edits/filters? Of course, not. Be aware that your tweets are open to search engines, so they can be career limiting if any potential future employer Googles your name (using keywords and hashtags) to uncover inflammatory tweets among your posts.

The safest of all Twitter strategies is to change your privacy settings to create a protected account. With this option, the only people who can view your posts are followers you have approved/accepted. The advantage? It provides a relatively safe space to stay in contact with your trusted family and friends. Most importantly, protected Tweets can’t be accessed by search engines, so all your Twitter updates will be invisible when anyone Googles you.

A business Twitter account is an entirely different animal. If you want to reap the potential benefits of a business-based Twitter account, you first will need to invest time and resources into targeting the “right” companies/individuals. After that, you’ll need a continual finessing and monitoring of tweets to stay on message and deal quickly and effectively with critics.

Turning off LinkedIn Activity Broadcasts

LinkedIn seems like one of the safest, most civilized of all social networks. Intemperate posts are rare. Politics and religion are not major topics of discussion. However, when looking for a job on LinkedIn. be sure to uncheck your activity feed. If you don’t, your current employer, assuming you are currently employed, will be able to see that you’re looking for new work. In addition, I recommend opting not to update your connections every time you make a minor profile edit, link with new people or write recommendations. With this social medium, “less is definitely more.”

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