Think Before You Facebook: Our Top Five Social Network Safety Tips

Facebook. So fun! So easy! And so easy to misuse and ruin your reputation!

In just a few clicks, it's possible to undo all of the work you've done to build your brand or image. And, if you're not diligent, it's possible to put yourself and your family in danger. 

The 5 Most Crucial Facebook Safety Tips for Attorneys

It can be helpful to think of Facebook as real life, so we've given real-life examples to go along with each internet tip. We hope that, after you read this, you will be a little more cautious when engaging in social media. Your reputation, and even your physical safety, is riding on it. 

  1. Keep your virus software updated. Is your virus protection up to date? Are you sure? Without effective virus protection, it's very likely that your email and Facebook profile could be hacked. At that point, you would be powerless to stop the virus from sending out possibly harmful or embarrassing emails and requests on your behalf. Think about it: Would you leave your door unlocked? Your security system unarmed? Of course not. Keep your internet home as secure as your physical home.  
  2. Don't friend every Tom, Dick, and Harry. You may be tempted to extend your exposure by accepting every friend request sent your way. But we urge you to only accept friend requests from people you know and people who you want to allow access to everything you post on Facebook. Think about it: Would you let strangers into your home or allow them to take pictures of your children and your spouse? Then don't let strangers become your Facebook friends.
  3. Watch your wall. If your settings allow it, your friends can post anything they want to on your wall. This can be dangerous because even well-intentioned friends and family members have the potential to post embarrassing or even damaging pictures, jokes, and links on your wall. Avoid this by using security settings to disallow posts to be made on your wall. Think about it: What would happen if someone put a blowup doll in front of your home or office or posted a sign in your yard with a derogatory joke written on it? It could potentially ruin your reputation, and the same goes with your Facebook wall.
  4. Every word and every image counts. When you post something on Facebook, never assume that only your friends will see it. Each word, link, image, or video you post has the potential to be seen by the world. And, once it's on the internet, it can never be erased. Check every post for mistakes. Never use your wall to rip anyone a new one, and never post anything that could be read as offensive or ignorant. Think about it: Would you tell a new client an off-color joke or discuss your late night of drunken debauchery? Of course not. So don't post anything online that could show you in a bad light or be misread.        
  5. Leave out the details. Do not post your home address, phone number, date of birth, or even email address on Facebook. It's too easy for someone to use this information to steal your identity, show up at your house unannounced, or call to harass you and your family. Think about it: Would you hand out a business card to everyone you meet with your name, home address, personal phone number, and date of birth on it? Never. So don't make this information public on Facebook.    

When used correctly, Facebook is a powerful, effective, and professional networking tool for attorneys. For more tips on how to use Facebook to grow your practice and advance your brand, call 888-886-0939. Our attorney social media specialists would be more than happy to help. 

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