Protect Your Identity and Data

Tips to Manage Social Media Risks

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Americans spend an average of 23 hours a week viewing email, using social media and texting. But most of us tend to forget that posts, tweets, videos and pictures all have social media risks tied to them. And this information can be used in litigation or entered as evidence in court. Photos, videos and comments all serve as ways to show what you were doing and who you have been in contact with online.

With social media, you don’t know when or where the information you post is going to show up again. ARAG® Network Attorney Ron Anderson remarks, “We see social media being used in litigation regularly now. For example, in family law cases, a person’s posting regarding their activities and associations can often be used against them in custody disputes to show that they would not be the better parent to take care of the children.”

How can you make your online experience a positive one – while minimizing the risks of using social media? Here are some tips to get started:

  • Use common sense. If you feel strongly about something and want to post a comment, do a gut check before you hit “send.” Come back to it after a while and see if you still want others to see what you’ve posted, and if you’re okay with it potentially being seen by anyone.
  • Ensure your privacy. Protect your password information and check your privacy settings to make sure only the people you want to see your information have access to it. Also, read the “privacy statements” for social media sites to see how your information is collected and shared with third-party service providers and ad partners.
  • Keep an eye on your (online) friends. With an online audience of hundreds, if not thousands of followers and friends, make sure you know what they’re posting, and be careful about what you “like” or “retweet.”
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