Social Media: Friend or Foe?

The time has come that more people are incorporating social media into their daily lives. Whether it’s a quick “tweet” here or there, or uploading your vacation photos on Facebook, social media networks are rapidly expanding with new users. As you may have noticed, Ross Insurance has also decided to jump on the social media train and see where broadening our social horizons can take us :). However, there are certain scenarios that all social media users should be aware of before they release too much information over the internet. For example, if you were to post that they were looking forward to going on vacation this weekend at Hampton Beach, NH and one of your Facebook friends commented “Have Fun”, all of their Facebook friends would then see that you were going away on vacation.You can control which friends that you have, but you cannot control the extended friends of your current Facebook friends, which is where trouble can start to boil. This means that any one who saw your Facebook status about going away for the weekend, can assume that your home will be unattended, and through the use of search engines they could use your Facebook display name to find your home address. You can easily change your privacy settings to that when you make a post you can control who gets a chance to see it. This way you can limit it to friends only, you can choose “all with the exception of”, or keep it private just for yourself to view.

What people are also starting to find out is that material that they are posting on social networks, are affecting their ability to get a job. For instance, say that your child in college has attended a few parties and their friends decide to tag your child in a couple of photos that they put online ( tagging is just a way of matching a face in the picture to a user of Facebook). Someone that your child may not know could comment something that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Your child later goes to apply for a new office job, and after the business receives your child’s application, they might search them out on Facebook or Myspace to see what type of conversations, pictures or videos they have that may represent what type of person that your child is. Depending on the privacy setting that your child has created, this potential business has access to content that could jeopardize your child’s future at this establishment. These types of things are happening more frequently and can be prevented with just a few tweaks in your privacy settings for any social media network. It is very important to monitor what you are posting or revealing yourself through social media because it is a representation of who you are and what you are doing. Talking about privacy settings with your family and friends is recommended for all social media networks. If you are unfamiliar with how to set privacy settings, check here for 10 privacy tips that all Facebook users should know. We think that social media is a great way to connect with anyone, but we do advise that you understand the risks involved with content you release.

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