Social networks have become a fundamental tool of our relationships; In this new information age, almost all of us are subscribed and use a social network daily. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram are everyday instruments that display information about us and our personal or professional activity. This information can have unexpected consequences if we do not previously weigh what, how, when and with whom we share the information, if we do not know how the social network displays it and especially how Google uses it in its own databases and offers it through your search engine.
It is not by chance that one of the main concerns of users of social networks, together with the recent problems of leaks in some networks or the impossibility sometimes of deletion of data, is how publicly relevant personal data can become, photos, videos, comments or opinions shared on the networks . This relevance is not given by the social network itself, but search engines and especially Google come into play.
Our activity in social networks also appears in search engines, so that not only can users access the information we share, but it can appear for anyone who searches for it on the Internet if we have not been careful by sharing it on the social network .
But Google is not a mere search engine, it offers a very diverse network of products with different functions, but all of them immersed in a social network structure. Proper management of privacy in products such as Gmail, Google+, YouTube, GoogleDocs or Drive, to name a few of the main ones, was until now a painstaking task that forced users to know each service well and be very aware of their profile and posts if you wanted to avoid a significant loss of privacy. This fact has led Google to rethink its services regarding the reputation and privacy of its users, since in its search results a multitude of personal references from individuals who are registered on social networks may appear.
For this reason, Google has made available to its users an instrument to improve, as far as possible, their protection in relation to their security and privacy. This is the “About me” page of Google . In this space you can check and select what information the user wants to share and with what type of audience, including the option to share with everyone. We are talking about a service to know what we publish in the Google services ecosystem, so the starting point is to be registered in its services.
But regardless of whether regular monitoring by us of what we are publishing and how Google shows information about our social activity is a reasonable measure of prevention , we must be clear that where the problem originates is in the acceptance we make, many times without paying attention, to the terms and conditions of use of social networks and, above all, of the applications that are downloaded from mobile devices, tablets and mobile phones. A few simple precautions along with “digital hygiene” rules can help us improve the protection of our privacy as users of social networks:
1. When we accept the conditions of use of any application or social network, we must be aware that we are expressly consenting to all its content. Therefore, it is important to read, as a minimum, what affects or may affect your privacy on the Internet. When in doubt, assess whether the loss of privacy or the information that we may be forced to share compensates the use of the social network (or the application) and whether we really need its features.
2. Although it may be more convenient and faster, it is not recommended to use the so-called unique authentication. It is true that using our Facebook account, Google account, or Microsoft account, as a way of accessing other services, networks or applications is a convenience and facilitates the use of networks, but it is a danger in case an intruder access it.
3. The Internet is a virtual space in which it is often difficult to reliably identify a specific person. Therefore, it is recommended not to trust unidentifiable subjects. We must share personal information only on the sites and with the people we want and access to services, even if only to prove that they require personal data from us, should be evaluated with caution before accessing them.
We must never forget that our security and privacy on social networks depend on us using passwords that cannot be easily discovered, knowing the conditions of the social network and using them properly, even reviewing them with certain frequency in case there have been changes in the conditions or configuration options and always identify the people we accept on our networks.