Western Courier

Be protective of your privacy

Karolina Orszulak, Courier Staff

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We all grew up in an era where social media, computers, cell phones and the Internet are all just so common in our everyday lives.

We are all so used to sharing every detail of our lives on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whether that be sharing the location of our favorite Italian restaurant, sharing pictures of your past vacation or even using your full name when making a profile. These little things that we do daily may not seem like a problem, but our privacy is something that we all have we are just unsure how to really use it.

One of my biggest fears is getting stalked and kidnapped. When I tell people this they just call me irrational but in reality am I really being irrational? The Net is helpful because it holds so much information but it can also be scary if you are very public about your life with strangers. You may think you’re doing everything right to be safe from strangers, but you must take the extra step to be aware of what others see when viewing your profile. You may not know this, but if you don’t adjust your privacy settings correctly, anyone who comes across your Facebook profile can easily get your phone number and your hometown. That’s why I think it is very important that websites really express how you can stay safe and avoid unwanted harm when it comes to social media.

Facebook does a very good job making it easy to access and adjust your settings so that you know exactly what a stranger sees when viewing your profile. Facebook allows the users to choose if they would like their profile to be open to anyone on Facebook, just their friends, or information that they would like to hide from everyone except themselves. This allows the users to limit what others see when viewing their profile. Mostly the thing that is only seen is a single profile picture and the name of the person.

The most important thing to take into consideration when using Facebook is being aware of what you’re posting. If you are someone who has over 1,000 friends on Facebook but are not very close with them, be aware of what you post. You may not know it but that random person you accepted an application from may be your future employer.

Recently Snapchat has come out with something called “snap map” where you are able to view all your snap chat friends’ locations. Your location updates every time you get on the Snapchat application making it easy for people to track your moves. This is awesome if you want to know where all your friends are hanging out, or where the best spot in town is but it is also very scary when you have over 300 friends on your Snapchat. These people can see exactly where you are through snap map, because they see the town and even the street you’re on. Although many people are aware you can disable the snap map location, some people decide that they don’t mind that their friends have their locations.

The best way to stay safe is not accepting random people on any social media and making sure your private information like your address or phone number is not out in the public.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Be protective of your privacy