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Lock down your social media with essential security add-ons

Eric Geier | Oct. 3, 2012
Oversharing: It's become standard operating procedure in our social-media-obsessed world. Still, there's a difference between Facebooking embarrassing party photos or tweeting about your celebrity crush, and actually releasing critical private information to the Internet at large.

After you create a SocialShield account or log in with your Facebook account, you can add your childs accounts with his or her usernames and passwords, or send the child an invitation email so he or she can provide their log-in credentials.

Once that Facebook account is connected, SocialShield will show you any alerts categorized by friends, posts, messages, and photos or videos.

SocialShield gives you an overview and more details of any alerts regarding your children's accounts. You also can view a listing of all of your children's friends and a listing of any potentially dangerous photos posted to their accounts.

Minor Monitor

Minor Monitor is another free monitoring service that works with both Facebook and Twitter. Similar to SocialShield, it analyzes your childs Facebook posts, messages, photos, friends, and other content to alert you of any dangerous activity. But unlike SocialShield, Minor Monitor lets you see all activity instead of just those items marked as potentially dangerous.

After you sign up, you simply add your childs Facebook account by logging in with his or her username and password. Once Minor Monitor finishes its initial analysis, it will give you a few charts and graphs that show number of alert types (profanity, sexual, and such), activity sentiment (positive versus negative activity), activity types (posts, comments, messages, and so on), and activity schedule (what your child is posting and when). You can also view a listing of alerts or all posted photos, activity, and friends.

You can disable the default alert emails via the settings pane and customize the level of sensitivity for the different alert categories. From there, you can also add your child's Twitter account, which Minor Monitor will analyze and track much like the child's Facebook account.

Other options

These are just a few of the tools out there to try. Many security companies are starting to build social-media security tools directly into their antivirus packages and security suites.

For instance, Trend Micro offers one of the more notable tools in its 2013 Titanium antivirus line. In addition to warning you about malicious links on social networks, the software also comes with a tool that will check your Facebook privacy settings and warn you of any problems.

When it comes time to upgrade your security software, check to see if the new version has similar social-network security tools.


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