It’s hard to remember a time when Facebook wasn’t open to the public, especially since pretty much everyone has a profile these days.

Not only does Grandma have an account now, she likes to share—a lot—as do most Facebook users. In fact, there are 1.49 billiondaily active users, with the average user spending 35 minutes a day on the site.

Because social media is so ubiquitous today, and we tend to share a lot of personal information on these sites, what can we do to keep ourselves protected?

Check Your Privacy Settings

A routine check of your privacy settings every few months will keep all of your accounts secure, and ensure you’re sharing information with only your intended audience.

Some social media sites, like Facebook, are good at reminding you to review and update your privacy settings every once in a while. If you want to take a look now, navigate to your Facebook home screen, and click on the question mark in the top right-hand corner. From there, click on the lock symbol that reads “Privacy Checkup”. Facebook will guide you through your settings for who can see your posts and profile, as well as what apps and websites have access to your account.

This process is just as simple for other social media sites, so make sure to add a privacy checkup for all of your profiles to your security to-do list every four to six months.

Don’t Overshare

It’s not uncommon to find oversharing on social media either cathartic or annoying, but did you know it can actually put you at risk?

According to Get Safe Online, the UK’s “leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety,” 21 people are defrauded every minute because of oversharing on social media.

The study notes that this occurred because people are “unaware of privacy risks associated with oversharing on social media platforms.”

They found that:

  • 39% of people experienced fraud due to oversharing
  • 26% of people targeted by fraud due to oversharing didn’t realize they were targeted
  • 22% did nothing
  • 32% just ignored it

Don’t let this be you! Make sure you’re sharing only the bare minimum of what you want to share. Keep location tags and personal information out of posts, as this can put you at risk!