As soon as you update your social media sites to show you’re engaged, your wedding social media journey has begun.
And it’s a fun one: Brides-to-be and their spouses-to-be can document those special moments and photos to share with large groups of friends and family members, both before and after the event (and the honeymoon).
But that fun may also jeopardize your personal information, putting you and others at risk for identity theft. Here are some suggestions to help minimize those risks as you post and share leading up to your big day.
— Check your privacy settings on social media and apps. You may think your posts and photos are only visible to people you’re connected with, but that may not be the case, especially if some social networking sites have updated their policies. Make sure you also review location settings and that posted photos don’t show where they were taken.
— Opt out of displaying your friends list publicly. Most social networking sites allow you to hide your connections. This can prevent fake phishing emails supposedly sent from you to your contacts.
— Don’t be too specific. As much as possible, refrain from including full names of attendees, wedding party members, exact locations or dates. Save those details for invitations sent to guests. The information may be shared by your connections to their networks. Before you post, think about what someone might be able to do with that information. A wedding registry link, for instance, may allow someone access to your home address.
— Only accept invitations from people you know in real life. That invitation from a distant relative of your spouse-to-be may be a fake account. If you aren’t sure, ask the person directly before accepting the request.
— Back up your photos – from your bachelor or bachelorette party and engagement pictures to your wedding or honeymoon photos. Use an external hard drive or secure cloud site.
— Strengthen your passwords. Use a different password for each site. Combine upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters when you can.
— Enable two-factor authentication where available. This gives your accounts an extra layer of security by requiring you to take an extra step when logging in, such as entering a PIN or using a fingerprint.
— Discuss privacy with your wedding vendors. Your wedding photographer may post pictures on social media for publicity, for instance. Ask vendors whether and how they like to share online. Consider letting them share shots that don’t include personal details.
— Be mindful of your guests’ privacy when posting photos. Also, notify your guests beforehand if you’d prefer they not “check in” to events or post photos with location added. Some couples may choose to put a sign where guests can see it as they enter the wedding. It’s also a good idea to discuss your preferences with relatives and members of the wedding party and ask them to put the word out. If you’ve created a wedding hashtag, note that anyone who searches for it may see what you and your guests are posting.
— Realize some guests may share anyway. Don’t be afraid to politely ask guests to remove or modify something that’s shared if you aren’t comfortable with it.
— Wait until you return to post honeymoon photos. Turn off location services on applications when you aren’t using them.
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