Listen weekdays from 1-3pm ET
(No audio? Try our help)
Recent shows | More media

Listen Live: Mon-Fri 1-3pm ET

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Social media privacy tips

The "Grandma Rule" applies when using social media



By Clark Howard


You also may have heard me talk in the past about the "Grandma Rule." Simply put, you should never put anything out there that you wouldn't want your Grandma to see.

One of the biggest areas where people have gotten into trouble are with what I've heard referred to as "Saturday night photos." You're out and about on the town, maybe you're feeling a little exuberant, and you're posing for a picture that on reflection isn't gonna look so good for you!

That's the danger of social media today, because once it gets out there, it's pretty near permanent.

I was talking with someone at a TV station where they do a social media check before any new hire can come on board. Well, there was a promising hire about to get a job offer, but they found a picture of that individual that cost her the job, plain and simple.

Divorce attorneys (aka family practice attorneys) love social media. That's because e-mail is like child's play to them. In contentious divorces, they want to get hold of text messages, pics on phone, and social media posts. Those are the things that are becoming core for them in their industry.

I think about Gen. Petraeus and Paula Broadwell using Gmail where they each would write a message as a draft and the other would go look at unsent draft. They thought no one would know what they were up to because they never sent any emails. Well, it didn't work.

You write it, someday someone you don't want to read it may well read it.