Social Media Privacy

Manage Your Social Media Accounts

  • Choose the privacy settings that are right for you. Look for security or privacy settings in social media apps or on websites. Restrict your entire account to only approved friends or followers, or configure restrictions on a post-by-post basis, if possible. Also look for settings to help you control what ads you see.
  • Manage third-party app authorizations. If you use your social media account to log in to other sites, or allow apps to access your account, periodically review those applications and de-authorize those that no longer need access. Only allow trustworthy and secure services access to your account.
  • Pick strong passwords. Use a different, strong password for each of your social media accounts. Don't use your UMICH password for non-UM sites.
  • Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication if offered. Take advantage of social media apps giving you the option to protect your account by using an additional "factor" to verify your identity when you log in.

Share and Follow with Care

  • Avoid sharing your location. Disable location services in apps or mobile devices when you do not need to share your location. Don't post your street address publicly.
  • Don't click suspicious links in social media postings. Shortened links or links without automatic previews could be spam or phishing. Hover over links with your cursor to find out if they go where they say they do. Consider using a URL lengthener to expose shortened URLs before you click.
  • Friend or follow only those you trust. Don't accept friend or follow requests if you aren't sure who the person is, or if their account looks suspicious. Block or report suspicious or spammy accounts.
  • Review logins. Periodically review active logins to your social media accounts, cancelling those that look unfamiliar.
  • Undershare, do not overshare. Some things should stay private and known only to you. Don't feel pressured to "complete your profile." Information like your birthday (especially the year), your phone number, and where you live or work doesn't need to be on your social media profile.
  • Watch what you're tagged in. Enable features that allow you to review tagged posts before they are shared. Watch what you are tagged in, and don't approve tags that share more than you are comfortable with.

Be Proactive

  • Be aware that anonymous doesn't mean untraceable. Using a pseudonym on a site or within an app isn't the same as being fully anonymous. Things you post or share can usually be tied to your real identity.
  • Hide your profile from search engines. Consider using settings that prevent your profile from being publicly searched.
  • Proactively protect yourself from harassment. Familiarize yourself with options for blocking, muting, and reporting obnoxious and harassing people in the services you use. Search the online help for the social media service you use for "blocking" or "muting." For example:

Social Media Privacy Resources