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3 Tips for Battling Workplace Cyberbullies (Managing Privacy Settings)

The global workplace is moving forward toward "A Digital Office" and with that migration new problems are bound to sprout up. Bullying is no longer just in the boardroom: Hellooo, Workplace Cyberbully.

Your cell phone, tablet, and computer have now become a battleground in which you can take your bully home with you. Constant online abuse and attacks can cause any employee to fall into depression, have decreased work production, irreparable reputation damage, and job loss.

In order to combat the Workplace Cyberbully you need to stay safe online by implementing simple changes that will help build your cyber citadel. Take your online life into your own hands and keep the bullies at bay.

Here are 3 Tips to help you keep yourself safe from internet-bullying and online workplace trouble.

1. Privacy Settings:

We have said it before, we will say it again. Be aware of who you are sharing your pictures and posts with. A workplace predator can stalk your posts to create potential ammunition against you and find out private information about your family and lifestyle. Also, when social media platforms update, so do many of their privacy settings. Don't forget to check back every once and a while!

How to:

In your Facebook "Privacy Settings" change your options to make sure that your future posts can only be seen by "Friends". Once this change has been made you can limit the audience for the posts you have shared previously with the "Public" or "Friends of Friends" by selecting "Limit Past Posts". This function will eliminate all past posts and photos from view on your FB timeline, unless the viewer is an accepted "friend". (You can also confirm what a non-friend can see when they are looking up your profile publicly. See options under the "Timeline and Tagging"settings tab.) Keep your Tweets private by choosing to "Protect My Tweets" in Twitter's"Security and Privacy" settings. The site states that this function will make sure that "only [people] you approve will receive your Tweets. Your future Tweets will not be available publicly1."

2. Location Services "They" know where you are:

Unless you shut down your location services. Yelp, FourSquare, Facebook, even Target wants you to check-in when you arrive. Yes, a free dessert for posting on FB that you're at "Uncle Tony's Italian Bistro" sounds great, but now the whole world (or at least your newsfeed) knows you're at Tony's… and also… where you aren't.

How To:

Don't ever "Add Your Location" to a post on social media. Tagging yourself to a location not only makes you a sitting duck, but it helps gather a detailed history of where you have been, all wrapped up in a perfectly mapped bow. You are now prone to a co-worker mentioning that you have checked into a certain bar or restaurant too many times that week… or maybe you tag a pic of you and your significant other out for a movie with the tagline, "Yay! Babysitter!" and now everyone online knows that your kids are at home without you. Tagging yourself away from your house makes you and your family a prime target for vandalism, robbery, and worse. Scary.

3. Photo "Tagging" Take away the posting power:

Managing who can add you to a post is valuable armor against online attackers. If a disgruntled co-worker is posting derogatory statements or embarrassing photos and tagging you online, you have the power to catch (or at least manage) many of these posts before they hit your newsfeed.

How To:

On Instagram you can change your "Photo Tagging" settings options under "Photos of You" so that undesired pictures will not be seen unless you add them manually within the app. Also, clicking on the ellipsis (…) at the bottom of an Instagram photo will allow you to access more "Photo Options" which gives you the option to remove yourself from the actual photo tag. Remove the tag, remove your bully's posting power. Right now, on this very screen you have 3 ways to help better manage your online presence and to help keep you safe from snoops and psychos across social media. Didn't your mom used to say, "Don't give them any information. They'll just use it as ammo"? The phrase still rings true, the less information and access to your online life a bully has, the less power they have to harm.



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