A Guide to Safe Tweeting

Feb 13, 2014

By Staff Writer

Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites in the U.S. With its popularity come some potential risks if you aren’t careful about how you use it. Learn how to protect yourself and your family in the Twitter world.

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Think Before You Tweet

You’d be surprised how much you can divulge in 140 characters, so be mindful of what you’re saying. Rude, inappropriate and harmful comments can easily come back to hurt you — especially in the professional world.

Don’t Get Too Personal

Twitter encourages the use of your real name, but draw the line there. Don’t post your phone number or information about where you live. This can make it much easier for someone to track down personal information and steal your identity.

Protect Your Account

It’s important to understand Twitter’s security features. Many users leave their setting on public, meaning anyone can read their posts. Set yours to private so only people you allow can see your tweets. Also choose a strong password and keep it a secret. If you use Twitter on your smartphone, never leave it where someone else can access it.

Block Unwanted Tweets

If you are getting tweets that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, block the user. You can do this by going to their profile page, clicking the person icon next to the “Follow” button and selecting “Block” from the options.

Be Skeptical

If something seems not quite right, be wary. Be careful about clicking on shortened links that conceal the website destination — especially if you aren’t familiar with the user. Remember that anyone can create an account under any name. If the profile picture doesn’t look like the person they claim to be or of there isn’t a photo of the person at all, be cautious about what you share.

When in Doubt, Report

Report any Twitter activity that seems inappropriate, harmful or false. Giving Twitter a heads up about potential problems helps keep Twitter safe. Learn what incidents warrant a report and how to report them.

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