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Social media has become an easily identifiable part of our society.

Through it, we are able to multitask in all areas of our life while never breaking a sweat. In countless ways, this provides us with many benefits, yet sadly, we are not able to count on everyone using social media for positive purposes.

Recently, the question has come to light about whether we are sharing too much of our personal information on social media.

Overexposing your personal information can be shown in many different ways. From the social media account of a 13-year-old who never learned that everyone and anyone could be reading their tweets to someone much older believing their account is fully private.

While many instances of over sharing are seemingly harmless and annoying, there are many real cases of it becoming threatening.

In the past, social media sites have been under fire for not having strict enough policies regarding the privacy of personal information. Time and time again, these complaints have been ignored, but with more instances of hacking and fraud occurring, we assume it will not be long before policy changes are passed.

Recently, the media has caught wind that President Donald Trump’s consultants exploited the Facebook data of millions. According to The New York Times, they first “harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission.” The article also cited that “the breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate.”

These numbers alone have made it one of the largest data leaks in the social network’s history, The New York Times reports.

While this is only one example of the danger that can come from overindulging with social media, the danger is still there. The truth of the matter is that at this point, it is entirely too easy to hack or steal information from one of your social media accounts.

Even though the easiest method of protection would be to delete all of your social media accounts, it is understood that it is not necessarily possible for everyone.

Below is a compiled list of tips from Adaware people can implement today to better protect their personal information:

· Privacy settings are there for a reason. Learn how to use the privacy and security settings to control your experience in a more positive way.

· Know and be cautious about who you friend. While you want to make new friends you have to realize that not everyone is looking out for you. In many cases, you can use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or pages.

· Use strong, different, and long passwords. Make every password different for your different accounts.

· If it looks suspicious, unfriend and block. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, take the necessary precautions.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

Utilizing these steps today provides social media users with more secure accounts and less issues in the future.

Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.

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