DOC IN A BOX: How to use social media safely and effectively

Take your time to learn about the privacy settings on the social media platforms you use and make sure they are set to your liking. This will help you control who can see your posts and information. How do you do that? Well, we’re glad you asked! (And be sure to read the last part of this column on how to maximize your results on Google.)

Managing your privacy settings

Review your current privacy settings: Take some time to review the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. Make sure you understand what each setting does and that they are set to your liking. Don’t know how to do this? Google is your friend. Type in “How do I manage my privacy settings in Facebook” (or Threads or Instagram, etc.).

Check who can see your posts: Decide who you want to see your posts. You can choose to make your posts public, visible to friends only or visible to a custom list of people. Again, Google is your friend here: “How do I check to see who sees my posts.”

Check what others see on your profile. Even if your profile is set to private, other people may still be able to see some information about you, such as your name, age and location. You can adjust your privacy settings to control what information is visible to others.

Update your friend list: Make sure you only have friends on your social media accounts who you know and trust. You can also choose to make your friend list private so that only your friends can see it.

Restrict access from third-party apps: Be careful about which third-party apps you give access to your social media accounts. These apps may be able to access your personal information and posts, even if your account is set to private. Ask Google, “How can I restrict access to third-party apps?”

Be aware of the latest privacy settings changes: Social media platforms are constantly updating their privacy settings. It’s important to be aware of these changes so that you can keep your accounts secure.

That’s it for this week’s column. As always, consult a technical professional if you REALLY get stuck, or use Google to get your answers. Plus, there’s a new helper on Google that works using AI and is incredibly fast and accurate. If you go to and put your query into the “Enter a prompt here” you’ll get some great answers. The better the prompt, the better your answers. For instance, I would type in: “Give me a step-by-step tutorial with pictures on how to adjust my privacy setting on Facebook”. Try it!

Stephen Bach
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Stephen Bach is the owner and chief of surgery at The Digital Docs in Marblehead.

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