Saturday 23 August 2014
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5 Sgroupulus New Year's Resolutions That Will Protect You Online

We’re one day into 2013 and everyone has a resolution – your brother wants to get buff, your mom wants to put something in her “thankful jar” everyday, and you’re trying to figure out what can distinguish the New Year for you.

Sgrouples has some ideas! We all find ourselves falling victim to the vices that are oversharing and neglecting our privacy settings…Let’s face it, these things are kind of ingrained in our daily lives in the Internet Age. But let’s all promise to exercise our online privacy smarts and follow these rules. (Note: Items 1-3, especially, are not as necessary if you hold true to Item 5 and stick with Sgrouples.)

1. Stop Oversharing

It's a status, not your diary.I know how strong of an urge you may have to tweet that you’re partying it up with your friends…or going on vacation…or that so-and-so said this about what’s-his-name. But let’s look at the potential aftermath of these 3 scenarios:

And then there’s always that person who tells the world that they’re brushing their teeth and the world is suddenly annoyed.

Thinking before we post is a must that most people just don’t do. From now on we need to take our hands away from the keys and ponder how the words we type may influence our lives tomorrow.

2. Set Your Privacy Settings to “Private”

Facebook Privacy SettingsWe all know that privacy settings can get complicated – in fact, Facebook (perhaps most notorious for this) is currently amending theirs. Setting your *ahem* settings definitely isn’t the most fun thing in the world to do, but we have to buckle down and protect ourselves.

Most sites give you options as to who can see your posts: “Friends,” “Friends of Friends,” etc. And it may be tempting to click that “Friends of Friends” button rather than making your profile completely private, but don’t do it! Think about the people to whom you are already connected on the site in the first place…How many are people that you actually talk to on a daily basis? And now their long list of distant acquaintances are going to be spying on your business? No, thanks.

And don’t forget third party apps! Making sure that companies don’t reap the benefits of your private information is important and the best way to minimize potential damage is to deny all apps and websites from interacting with your profile.

Check out this guide to understanding privacy settings and get started now!

3. Turn of Geolocation on all Apps

GeolocationSpeaking of apps…You know when you open a new one and you get that seemingly friendly message: “‘Name of App’ Would Like To Use Your Current Location?” Don’t let them.

Much like tweeting about your vacation, this first and foremost lets people know of your whereabouts. We leave a digital footprint (often without knowing it) of where we are and where we’ve been based on the pictures and words that we post, but also the places our phone has been or detected.

Geolocation is the perfect tool for predators to find their victims, and you don’t want to be one of the latter! The good news is that it takes mere seconds to turn off and is automatically disabled on Twitter.

For more information, read this post on a related app.

4. Remove Yourself from Top People Search Databases

People Search DatabasesRemember when I mentioned your digital footprint? People search databases may be the number one place to track someone through time. These are sites that collect information such as your demographics, your home information – even your shopping habits – in an effort to target specific advertisements that might get you to spend more money. Creepy, huh?

Like attending to your privacy settings, this resolution can be a long and ugly process. Most of these sites have their own separate hoops to jump through. But you could plan on doing one site every day of the New Year to budget your time…And luckily, Sgrouples already has a handy guide to removing yourself from the top 17 people search databases!

5. Express Yourself Freely with Sgrouples!

SgrouplesOk, now that we’ve given you the long way around, we’ll give you the short of it all: Using your Sgrouples account to communicate with the people you truly know is the best way to protect yourself. Our private groups are not trackable and only those inside the group can see what you post.

You can feel free to share your indiscretions knowing that the wrong people aren’t going to be exposed to them! Write about your vacation without giving yourself up to predators! And there is no geolocation to give you away, either.

Our privacy settings are spelled out in an easy-to-read manner with our Privacy Bill of Rights, ensuring that you feel safe.

So make your New Year’s resolution to use Sgrouples this year. Create an account and join the online privacy revolution today!

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