Social Media Privacy Basics

Understand social media privacy and what information you share with others on social media in this free Internet safety lesson.

Understanding social media privacy

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have made it easier than ever to share things online. But sharing something on social media is a bit different from other types of online communication. Unlike email or instant messaging, which are relatively private, the things you share on social media are more public, which means they'll usually be seen by lots of other people.

Think before you share

While social media sites offer privacy tools to help you limit who can see the things you share, it's important to realize that they are fundamentally more open and social than traditional communication tools. Whether or not you realize it, the things you share online also can affect how you're perceived by others. That's why you'll always want to think carefully about what you share over social media.

Watch this video from Google to learn more about why it's important to think before you share.

Review your privacy settings

As we mentioned above, all social networking sites have privacy settings that allow you to control who you share with. For example, whenever you share something on Facebook, you can choose to share with just a few people, all of your Facebook friends, or publicly with everyone on Facebook. That's why it's so important to understand how your privacy settings work and how to control them.

Watch this video from our Facebook 101 tutorial to learn more about how sharing works on Facebook.

More resources

We offer several tutorials to help you customize your privacy settings on various social networks. Check out the lessons below that are relevant to you.