04 Sep 2013
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Has social media #ruinedyourlife...?

There are many among us who have ruined their reputations and damaged their careers after posting inappropriate material on social networks.

The long list includes politicians, movie and sports stars as well as teachers, police officers and even fast food restaurant employees.

The problem of exposing too much information could continue to plague social media users, a possibility supported by security software developer Trend Micro in unison with Cint USA.

According to the survey, 22 percent of New Zealand and Australian respondents said they have posted something they later regretted or removed, and another 34 percent said they have seen something they regard as inappropriate on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

“Privacy is a huge concern, and it all starts with making sure that we don’t have a ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’ regretful moment,” warns Greg Boyle, Global Manager Consumer Mobility, Trend Micro.

“Guarding against identity theft, protecting against viruses and keeping families safe online come standard in Trend Micro security solutions, but if you don’t understand how to manage your social network privacy settings, no amount of security software will keep your online reputation protected.

"The first line of defence in enjoying your digital life safely is to get a handle on social media privacy.

"Trend Micro gives social media users a simple way to avoid harming themselves or ruining their reputations by sharing too much information with unintended audiences.”

Boyle says the company has expanded its unique social network privacy technology, which identifies privacy settings that may leave personal or inappropriate information publicly available or vulnerable to identity theft.

Giving users control over which apps can access biographical data, and who can tag and see photos, Boyle claims such features are critical in today's world.

Especially considering only 12 percent of New Zealand and Australian Facebook users check privacy settings each month and only 9 percent change their privacy settings each month.

The same survey showed that 31 percent of Google+ users have never checked their privacy settings and 38 percent of Twitter users have never updated their privacy settings.

Trend Micro’s new personal privacy management tool aims to simplify privacy settings on Twitter and Google+, and Facebook – for both Mac and PC. Facebook settings can also now be managed on the go via an Android app.

Featured in today’s release of Trend Micro’s Titanium 2014 family of consumer security products, the software is a customisable security solution which Boyle says provides anti-virus and Web-threat protection that identifies and blocks dangerous links in websites, social networks, emails and instant messaging.

It also detects spam emails containing phishing scams that can trick users into revealing private personal information.

“Life is difficult enough without having to worry whether or not your reputation, your data or your identity is protected,” says Boyle.

Have you done something you regret on social media? Tell us your stories below

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