Facebookers of the World, Beware.

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Think you’ve got your social media privacy settings under control? Think again.

Once upon a time there was a woman, we’ll call her Sue. Sue was dating John, and one day noticed that he had liked a photo on Facebook of another woman. John, a police officer, went on Facebook that same day and posted a photo of his under age daughter taking shots out at the bar: “Atta girl!”, he commented. John and Sue are no longer in a relationship, and John is now jobless. The end.

In today’s online, social media world has been , social world, privacy is hard to come by. We have grown to a new level of comfort when it comes to what we share and with whom we share it. Our meals, work life, extra curricular activities and family time have become a normal part of everyday “socializing.” Sometimes in today’s saturated social media world we rely on the work of others but don’t understand the consequences of our actions.

This week I have been doing a lot of research for work on privacy and account settings, and felt it was necessary to share some of what I learned and already knew:

Did you know that Facebook has recently tweaked its privacy settings? In this privacy and user habits infographic, 25% of Facebook users say their posts are public. Despite the warnings with social media as the always watching eye, 25% of users don’t know if Facebook tracks their location, while 61% don’t realize that third party applications may have access to their data and information.

How many of you read the Terms and Service on social networking sites before accepting? Many users aren’t aware that their videos, photos, contact information and cell phone providers are just the beginning when it comes to information your networking sites can get about you.

Now let’s revisit the story of ¬†John and Sue. The key takeaway here is that with social media, your information, posts, engagement and activity are never a secret, or totally safe. I’ll take Facebook an an example: for photos, it tracks what you like, what you’re tagged in, and who you’re with. For posting, it’s very similar. Now let’s say you’re travelling and post a photo of your hotel… yep, it tracks that location too.

The bottom line is this: always be aware that what you post, “like” or click on is being tracked. Facebook truly is the Big Brother of social networking… it is always watching.

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