Social Networking

According to US-CERTlink: The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults. The nature of these sites introduces security risks, so you should take certain precautions.

UWRF recognizes that the use of online communities, such as Facebook and MySpace, has helped many students at UWRF connect in positive ways. While there are many benefits to using these tools, some students have experienced unintended consequences because of what they have chosen to post online.

These guidelines have been developed to help you navigate through these communities in a responsible and safe way.  

Safety Issues - Are you sharing too much personal information?

  • Sharing too much information, including your address, telephone number, IM screen name, class schedules, and whereabouts can put you at risk for identity theft, stalking, harassment, or other serious problems.
  • Avoid posting information about where you hang out after classes. Just because the field is provided doesn't mean you have to fill it out. If you are going to post your birthday, don't include the year. Be general rather than specific, post your city as the address but not the street information.
  • Be careful about adding strangers to your friends list. People are not always who they say they are. Know how to activate the privacy features available to users. Many sites allow you to select different privacy settings so that you can control who can view your profile, pictures, and postings.

What's Acceptable?

Are there things on your site (pictures, stories, postings, etc.) that could be embarrassing if viewed by the wrong person?  

  • Do not post anything on your site that you, your friends, or family may be embarrassed by at a later date. Think twice before you post any information you do not want a professor, future employee or family member to see.
  • Remember that if just one visitor to your site saves a quote, picture or story, even one that's up for just a day or two, it will always be out there in cyberspace.
  • It's natural to want to share pictures with your friends and family, but if you do not have permission of your friends to post pictures of them, you should ask first.

Illegal Activities

Are there things on your site that depict what appears to be illegal activity or violations of university policies?

  • Just as in the real world, individuals using the Internet for illegal activities may be subject to University discipline procedures and criminal prosecution.
  • Pictures or other evidence of illegal behavior, such as underage drinking and illegal file sharing, could put you at risk for legal consequences with the University or local authorities.
  • Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of websites you use and with UW System and UWRF Acceptable Use of Technology policies.

Examples of good and bad Facebook profilesdocument