8 Reasons to Keep Your Social Media Set to Private

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Many people recommend locking down your social media accounts to stay safe on the internet. What they don't usually tell you is exactly why switching to private mode is a sensible thing to do.

Today, we will share the top reasons why you should consider moving your social media content away from the public sphere. By understanding these reasons, you'll be able to protect yourself from cyber threats better and have a much more rewarding online experience.

1. Avoid identity theft

One of the biggest reasons to keep your social platforms private is to reduce the chance of identity theft. This is where someone steals enough of your information to be able to take on your identity.

You're opening up to these attacks if you share too much information online. By keeping your accounts locked, you prevent anyone from just being able to wander onto your profile and view your details.

You can also prevent this by ensuring you have "friend requests" activated. You can then decide exactly who can access your profile by adding them to your Twitter or Facebook friends list.

2. Prevent attracting robbery

It's all too easy to separate your online life from your real one. Unfortunately, this can lead to mistakes that get you into trouble in the real world. For example, if you publically share online that you're away on holiday, thieves could take this opportunity to break into your house.

Again, having your accounts set to private ensures that only those you trust are able to interact with your content.

3. Protect employability

These days, most employers take the time to look through their prospective hires' social media accounts. This could be to find out if you are responsible with your public image or if your values intersect with the company.

Everyone likes to laugh and joke online, but that isn't necessarily what you want future employers to see. If you have a personal social media account that isn't strictly dedicated to your professional image, then it's probably best to keep it on private.

4. Keep business reputation intact

Similarly, if you own a business, you shouldn't want any of your personal content to impact it negatively. Having a public business account that you also use for personal interactions could be a recipe for disaster.

If you do want to run a public social media account, then, of course, this is absolutely fine. We recommend only opening your business-related content up to the public and keeping everything else to yourself.

5. Protect your insurance

It's not just employers who might check in with your social media accounts. Insurers also practice social profiling to determine whether they can trust a potential client to be responsible.

If you're trying to get health insurance and your Twitter account is full of videos of mountain biking without a helmet, they'll be much less inclined to help you out.

We're not saying that you should hide anything from insurance companies, but keeping your accounts private will ensure that nothing can be misconstrued.

6. Avoid stalkers

Just like in real life, there are people on the internet who do not respect the boundaries of others. The good thing is that these people are much easier to deal with in the virtual sphere. As we've mentioned countless times now, locking social accounts down guarantees that only people you approve can see your profile.

In this case, the risk of having an open profile is that stalkers could find out more information about your real-life situation, which could be quite dangerous. The odds of someone starting to stalk you in real life after finding you online are extremely slim, but there's no harm in keeping yourself as safe as possible.

7. Reduces the risk of oversharing

It's easy to get carried away on social media and accidentally reveal information you shouldn't have. This could be something as simple as your full name or more important information such as your credit card number.

When you have a private account, none of your posts will make it out into the public realm. You should still be conscious of what you're sharing on a private account, but the potential damage from oversharing is much lower.

8. Stay safe against future cyber threats

Criminals and bad actors are always looking for new ways to target unsuspecting internet users. Keeping your social media set to private gives you the best chance of avoiding the new scams and hacks popping up every day.

One example of a modern cyber threat is catfishing. This is where a person poses as someone else in order to scam, mislead or generally abuse another. Private social media doesn't eliminate this threat but gives you more control over who you're interacting with online.

Cyber threats can also be dealt with via antivirus software. These are programs that detect and eliminate malware. Social platforms are riddled with phishing links and bad download links, so it's more important than ever to have a strong barrier built into your devices.


What should be kept private on social media?

The best thing you can do to keep your personal information private on social media is to lock down your account completely. Doing this will mean that only the people you confirm as friends will be able to see your content.

Some platforms have technology that allows you to keep certain parts of your profile private. This is great if you run a business and want to have an open account but don't want everyone to be able to see content meant for your friends.

What's the biggest risk of having public social media accounts?

There are several risks associated with having a public personal account, and we've talked about most of them in our article above. You can't put a ranking on these risks, but we'd say that identity theft is one of the most dangerous results of sharing private information.

Keeping personal information private is absolutely essential in a public space. Identity theft can be completed with just a few bits of info, so be sure only to share personal details if it's absolutely necessary.

Do social media platforms have good security?

In general, social media platforms have very advanced security systems. This is because their reputation relies on protecting their clients' sensitive information. The big social media companies will have substantial security teams working round the clock to keep their website secure.

That said, big websites are more likely to be targeted by hackers and scammers. This is why we've seen several high-profile data breach cases from the leading social media platforms.

How can I have a good social media presence on a private account?

Unfortunately, locking down your account will naturally reduce the number of people who can interact with your content. This is certainly less than ideal if you're trying to run a brand or build a following.

Our best advice here is to try and have separate social media profiles for yourself and your business. This way, you won't have to compromise your personal data to build your online presence.