MomTalk.com January 27, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Protect Your Privacy on Social Networks

By Elizabeth Wasserman

Social networks are not just for teenagers anymore. The popular web sites that let you connect with people who have shared interests or activities, are now helping adults like Sheilah Etheridge turn up business leads from her home-based accounting and consulting firm in Anchorage, Alaska. But Etheridge will only use select social networking sites because she worries about the privacy of her personal information.

"Everything we post on the web is obviously out there for all the world to see and it's out there for eternity," says Etheridge, a 50-year-old mother of two grown children, ages 22 and 26. She favors networking on LinkedIn because the site pledges not to share her information with anyone other than her "connections." "The thing that people need to understand is that you're not only protecting your own privacy but protecting your friends' privacy, as well."

Some members of the popular social networking site Facebook were in for a rude awakening about privacy as they prepared for the holidays last November. Facebook had launched a new advertising program called Beacon with its retail partners. As a result, details of some members' private online purchases showed up unbeknownst to them on the Facebook pages of their friends and family members -- spilling the beans about holiday gifts in some cases and embarrassing purchasers. After thousands of Facebook members protested, the company allowed members to "opt out" and keep their purchase information private.

The incident, however, underscored the privacy concerns of social networkers. As adults take up social networking, it's important to be aware of potential privacy risks to the information that is posted for all to see. Below are top privacy issues that adults -- as well as teens -- need to take into account before posting information (or pictures or video) on the most popular social networks.

Privacy Threat No. 1: Strangers seeing your personal data

The Risk: Having sensitive -- or just embarrassing -- information fall into the hands of identity thieves, prospective employers, college recruiters or even potential mates.

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Categories: Just for me, Take Care of You,

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Protect Your Child's Privacy, The Golden Rules for Cyber Ethics,

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