Social Media

How To Protect Yourself On Social Media

published on: 06.12.2022 last updated on: 07.12.2022

Social media sites and apps are some of the first places to go when trying to look for people. The more information a person supplies, the easier it is for them to be found.

For people building a social media profile for a business or personal gain, the more data, the better.

In the case of someone who respects their privacy, there are steps to take to ensure limited information is made available.

Here are the ways to protect yourself on social media and tips on what friend requests to avoid.

How Many Details Are Already Available?

social media profile

Social media is the most accessible free people search option. Type in a person’s name and a lot of information is instantly available.

Whether setting up a social media profile for the first time or checking the status of an existing one, the first step is to do a self-search.

Typing one’s name into a search engine could bring up surprising results. This is best done from a browser, not on the person’s existing computer, as cookies may provide incorrect details. Even Google’s incognito mode on the same laptop might still access saved cookies.

Choose Carefully

Before creating any social media profile, decide how much information to share. Avoid any details that make it easy for a stranger to find you. For example, don’t list physical addresses.

Personal details like birthday dates are fine, but leave out the year. Armed with just this information, hackers can create fake profiles.

Never provide unique details like student ID or social security numbers. Instead, blur these details out on any images that contain them.

Privacy Settings

When creating a profile, deciding who can view what on any social media platform should be top of the list. Here’s how to do this in the leading apps.


  1. Click the picture in the top right of the profile page.
  2. Select Settings & privacy, then click Settings.
  3. Click privacy in the left column.

Facebook also has a Privacy Checkup feature, which runs through all the current settings and offers suggestions on what can be adjusted.


  1. Tap the picture in the bottom right of the profile page
  2. In the top right, click on the three little bars, then tap Settings


  1. Tap the ⚙️ button in the Profile screen to open Settings
  2. Scroll down to the ‘Privacy Controls’ section

Protecting Yourself While the Profile is Active

Protecting Yourself While the Profile is Active

To escape unwanted attention from strangers, here are some behaviors to avoid.

Checking In

As fun as it might be to let others know of places to go and things to see, the ‘Check In’ feature has two drawbacks.

  1. It lets strangers know your exact location details at any given time.
  2. It lets people know when your home location is unattended.

Pro tip: By all means, ‘check in,’ but do it after the fact. Never revealing instant details makes it harder for unsavory characters to find you.

Friend Requests

Be wary of friend requests from people you don’t know and ones from existing friends with another profile.

People You Don’t Know

This isn’t to say that every anonymous friend request is bad. Check their profile page; if they have many mutual friends from everyday activity, they may be a legit contact.

Requests from profiles with little to no data should be deleted immediately.

Multiple Profiles

If you get a friend request from a new profile of an existing friend, there’s a chance their account has been hacked. This ‘new’ profile is the hacker trying to access other accounts.

Message the friend in the original profile, and see whether they have a legitimate new profile. To avoid being tricked by a hacker, ask your friend a question only they will know the answer to.

It’s There Forever

posting a picture

The statement, ‘nothing ever gets deleted from the internet,’ holds true.

Clicking yes on things like privacy acceptances and terms and conditions means giving that site permission to use those details however they like.

Before posting a picture of looking cute in this year’s latest swimsuit, consider if a future employer will do a search and encounter the photo.

To protect yourself even further, make smart choices about everything that gets posted online.

Protection is Paramount

The easiest way to protect yourself on social media is to make intelligent choices.

Decide how much or how little information you want to share. Set strict privacy controls on whatever app you use. If you have an existing profile, consider running a privacy check.

Don’t check in if you don’t want to be found, and don’t accept friend requests from unknowns.

Savvy choices make for better security.

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Tags building a social media profile social media marketing social media platform
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Arnab Das is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.

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