Five Part Series – Part VI – Using Social Networks
The last set of common mistakes new Internet users make is on social networks. We’ve actually published a lot of stuff on MUO about Facebook etiquette, but probably the single most common faux pas new users make is posting private information to the whole world.
You see, Facebook has a quick and easy way to see and change whether individual posts are going out to the public, or only your friends and family. It’s that little icon next to your name and date for each post. If it’s an image of people, then it’s only going out to your friends. If it’s the image of a globe, then you’ve just posted that update to the entire Internet.
Hopefully, you didn’t just discover that you’ve been accidentally posting very private information to the world! Luckily, you can go back and change those. Also, if you go into your Facebook settings and click on “Privacy”, you can change the default for your posts from “Everyone” to “Friends” (a very smart thing to do).
There are all kinds of other behaviors to avoid on Facebook, so I highly suggest you browse through our many articles about Facebook behaviors and etiquette. Thankfully, it’s usually easier to stay out of trouble on social networks – they’re nowhere near as dangerous as email phishing or fraudulent websites.
Being new to the Internet doesn’t mean that you have to be afraid whenever you’re online. Just being aware of the sorts of issues outlined above will go a long way toward staying safe and having fun on the net without the danger of putting your identity or your computer at risk.
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