Home Europe’s 17 Golden Rules for Keeping Safe on Social Networks

Europe’s 17 Golden Rules for Keeping Safe on Social Networks

Are you using your real name on your social network profiles? According to the European Union’s Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), that’s a big mistake. A new report, published to coincide with Europe’s Safer Internet Day, details the dangers of using social networks and lays out 17 “golden rules” for keeping safe on social networks. The report’s authors are especially worried about the proliferation of mobile social networks and, among other things, recommend that users turn off all location-based services whenever they are not absolutely needed.

The report argues that you should always protect your social networking accounts by using a pseudonym. After all, the authors say, your real friends will know who is hiding behind your nickname and will still be able to find you easily. We are not quite sure if this is a very realistic proposition, though some of the ENISA’s “Golden Rules” are quite reasonable.

17 Golden Rules

Here are the rules:

Pay Attention to What You Post and Upload:

  • Consider carefully which images, videos and information you choose to publish
  • Never post sensitive information
  • Use a pseudonym

Choose Your Friends with Care:

  • Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know
  • Verify all your contacts

Protect Your Work Environment and Avoid Reputation Risk:

  • When joining a social networking site use your personal e-mail address (not your company e-maill address)
  • Be careful how you portray your company or organization online
  • Do not mix your business contacts with your friend contacts
  • Do not let anyone see your profile or personal information without your consent
  • Do not leave your mobile phone unattended
  • Do not save your password on your mobile phone
  • Use the security features available on your mobile phone

Protect Your Mobile Phone and the Information Saved on It:

  • Be careful what you publish about someone else

Inform Yourself:

  • Read carefully and in full the privacy policy and the condition and terms of use of the social network you choose

Protect Your Privacy With the Privacy Settings:

  • Use privacy-oriented settings (check who can see your pictures, who can contact you and who can add comments)

Report Stolen Phones Immediately:

  • Be careful when using your mobile phone and pay attention to where you put it

Pay Attention to Location Based Services and Information of Your Mobile Phone:

  • Deactivate location based services when not using them

What do You Think?

Most of these rules seem quite reasonable, but are you really going to use a nickname for your social network profile? Do you find it hard to keep your private life and work life separate on Facebook? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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