If you are present on at least one social media channel (facebook, twitter, flickr, linkedin…) I’m sure that the idea of privacy crossed your mind at least once.
How much do you share on Facebook? Who do you have in your Facebook community? Family? Friends? Acquaintances? People you do not know?
Personally, I avoid adding people I know nothing about even if I know them from other social media websites (Twitter for example). I’m not a privacy freak, I have no lists with different privacy settings. I don’t disable my wall. But I do not put my email address nor my phone number and I limit viewing for my friends only.
Why do I share stuff on Facebook? Because Facebook is about sharing. Some people give you the feeling that the only purpose of their Facebook presence is to stalk others while they do not share anything about themselves.
You can check this link 10 Settings Every User Needs to Know for some Facebook privacy advice. Some of these are worth looking at even If you do not care about privacy issues.
The first thing that a non-twitter user tells you when you suggest that he/should open a twitter account probably is “I do not want people to know when I am eating and when I am going to the restrooms”. Well, you do not have to tell people this, simply! Of course those people don’t know yet what Twitter is about.
For me, Twitter is all about going public and I know that people with private profiles are missing a lot. I can elaborate on this if you do not agree but If you are worried about your privacy, pay attention to what you share on twitter. Sharing news, articles or photography can do no harm to your privacy.
PS. You can avoid tweeting this for example: “I’m leaving for a 2 weeks vacation and my house is gonna feel so lonely without me.” 😉
Here is a bigger issue maybe. Checking in at your location publicly? Some think that this is How Osama Bin Laden Was Really Killed 😛
First, only your Foursquare friends get to learn about your location unless you share your check-in on Twitter or Facebook. Second, on the Foursquare website you can find all sharing settings and decide for yourself.
You can ask, where’s the fun in it? Well, it can happen that other people checked in at your same location and you can meet up with them. You get to get mayorships, waiting for a useful use of it when businesses start doing some location-based social marketing. And you get to be introduced to new places where your friends check in, ask for reviews, see some tips…
At the end, It really depends on how much you are willing to reveal about yourself but in all cases, it is always good to think twice before sharing something on a social media network.