Keeping personal information private is a big concern given the prevalence of the Internet in daily life. It is important to consider creating a balance between using online resources like social media and protecting your personal information.
There are a few steps you can take to help reduce your exposure.
- Do not disclose too much personal information on your social media accounts like Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter. It's good just to give a basic information about yourself. It's easy to become a victim of an internet stalker or troll if the he/she knows your habits, likes, and has seen all your personal photos. Also considering not listing your workplace on your social media accounts. You can also try to have some information removed or made not viewable to the public by contacting a website's administrator.
- Hide your friends lists and control who you add as a friend. Normally the internet stalker will befriend you first and will try to get inside your friends list. The internet stalker will then be able to get updates of what you do, what you talk about and who your good friends are. Once the internet stalker discovers who your good friends are, he or she could target all these people as well. You can also make your accounts private and only viewable to friends.
- If someone has your e-mail or personal phone number, look into options for blocking them. Most e-mail sites and phone companies offer options to block certain people from contacting you.
- Discuss personal matters away from the public domain. Do not comment about your daily life events for all to see. Matters like birth dates and names of family members are also personal information that should be kept out of the public domain. All the internet stalker needs to do is to join in the conversation and become a good friend of yours. Don't let your personal information be used against you.
- If you have linked accounts from Facebook to Myspace or to any other account, keep personal information to the minimum. The internet stalker will definitely jump from one account to the other to find out more information about you.
- Faculty and Staff can go to myUFL > Main Menu > My Account > Update My Directory Profile and make sure Local and Permanent Home Data are set to Do Not Publish in the UF Directory. You can also change your Work Data phone number to your department's main number and check the box for No Work Cell, even if you have one. Speak to your department about your options.
You can also visit the UF IT Security Protect Yourself site for more information.