13 tips to protect your personal data on social networks

In 2008, Michal Kosinski, a scientist from Warsaw created an application that provide a user profile based on his Facebook likes. His study shows that with 68 likes, it is possible to predict the user’s skin color (95%), his sexual orientation (88%) or his political opinions (85%).On a social network, publication and information you give is connected to your profile and helps to create your digital identity. This digital identity is used to improve the relevance of targeted advertising. Do you read a lot of articles about ecology and you mostly have ads for ecological products? Is this a coincidence? No.If you want to limit the traces you leave behind, you have to follow some good practices.

·      Have a good digital hygiene

Think, then publish

Keep in mind that each of your publications helps to create your digital identity and that your publications are read by others. The words and themes you cover will help  social media to better understand your interests. Don’t forget that everyone can see what others post: Your political opinions, your photos, the places you visit … It may be better to keep some aspects of your life private.

Respect others

Everything you write about you is important, but what you write about others or to others is important too. Your attitude on social networks could be negative for your. An offensive comment, an aggressive retweet are part of your personal data and remain linked to your digital profile.Don’t forget that what you write commits yourself and that you are responsible for what you write.

Make your post private

Social networks allow you to choose whether a publication is public or private. Make you post private is a good way to protect your digital identity, or make it less accessible by others.

Restrict the use of hashtags

Hashtags categorize your posts, but also your profile. It’s a simple way to collect your data. Restrict their use is a good idea to give less information about yourself.

Don’t give your location!

Your location is a high valuable information. With your location, GAFAM are able to adapt the ads to the places you go. Ban access to your position!

Use a pseudonym

Using a nickname is a basic protection to protect your digital identity. It will be more difficult to find you if you do not use your first name or last name.

Approve manually post of photos you are tagged in

If someone tag you in his/her post, this post will be part of your personal data. The best solution to avoid that is to review and approve manually each post or photo you are tagged in.

·      Protect your account

Bloc third party applications

Applications you are using, including games or personality test collect and use personnal data stored in your account. Block third-party apps you no longer use is the best solution to protect your personal data.

Be careful with your profile information

You don’t have to give all the information a website ask to create an account. Give the minimum is the best solution to protection your privacy because all the information you give are stored and reused.

Use more than one email address

Your email address is the easiest way to identify your identity. If you are always using the same address, it is really easy to track you when you’re browsing the Web. It’s better if you have different email address: social network, professional use, shopping…

Pay a particular attention to your password

Millions of people are using easy-to-guess passwords on sensitive accounts like « 123456 », « password », « qwerty”… Those password are really easy to find for a hacker and it would be better for you to opt for a stronger password.If you want to check your password, you can use this link. This website will tell you if your password is strong enoughhttps://howsecureismypassword.net/

·      Check your profile

Google your name and check

If you choose to protect your internet profile, you have to try to clean the data you left behind weeks, months or years ago. The best solution is to google yourself and check all the information google can find about you.Then, it’s suitable to ask and download all the data Google, Facebook (etc…) have stored. You’ll be able to do it by accessing the parameters of your account.