We’ve all read, watched or at least heard of Orwell’s 1984. The panopticon theory that we’re always watched has grown in interest with the rise and rise of tech gadgets; but does it mean MI5 is watching your Facebook profile?

Many small businesses and freelancers fail to include social media in their digital marketing strategy because they are sceptical about privacy settings. With all the recent news stories on tech taking information and even spying on us, is the suspicion warranted?

If you’re worried about your smart TV recording your conversations, or Google Allo coughing up your search history, here are some tips on how take precautions with your online privacy when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.

Increase your privacy settingsHow to Keep Information Private Without Sacrificing Your Brand’s Online Presence

While the majority of us know to be wary when it comes to your personal details, knowing what to share becomes slightly more difficult when you’re acting as a brand. After all, aren’t you meant to keep your business as visible as possible if you want customers and to find your target audience?

The first thing to do is to keep your personal profiles separate from your brands’. Don’t be tempted to use the same passwords that you do for your own profiles. It may be easier to remember, but it will also be easier for someone to guess.

If you don’t want customers to contact you directly it would also be wise to avoid sharing, retweeting or creating a connection online between your personal profiles and those of your business. You can also increase your personal privacy settings on your social media sites so people won’t be able to find you.

Check the small print

The only way you can be certain about what you’re signing up for is by reading the contract when you sign up to new social media site. If you don’t have the time (and in reality, who does) then you should at least read the condensed version on the company’s user agreement pages.

Bear in mind though, they’ll probably leave out anything they think you won’t like the look of!

Stick to the basics

While you want to increase your brand’s online presence, you also don’t want to sacrifice your information by signing up to a hundred unknown social media sites. There’s no guarantee that an app or program won’t become the subject to hacking, but for more established social media sites, it is less likely.

Keep to the biggest social media sites and choose just a handful to operate from. That way, you can specialise in one social platform and you will have fewer privacy policies to keep track of.

Turn off location services

When signing your business up to a social media network, don’t allow access to your location. If location is important to your business, you can always add in a broader area later on. This way you know the app doesn’t have access to your exact phone location, which can at least put your mind at ease a little.

Go Zuckerberg

If you’re concerned that your smart TV might be listening to you, or your laptop camera could be at risk from online hackers, you can take a leaf out of Zuckerberg’s book and tape them up.

This might seem like a particularly extreme measure for those of us who aren’t the head of a multi-million dollar tech giant like Facebook, but if it helps you sleep a little easier then there’s no reason not to!

After all these methods, you should be happy to continue posting and engaging online as your brand. You can easily continue to grow your brand’s presence with some peace of mind that MI5 aren’t listening in.

Does your tech give you the heebie-jeebies? Or are you too excited about getting your hands on the latest gadget that it doesn’t matter? Drop us a comment and tell us your thoughts in the section below!

Lauren is the driving force behind our content and social services to clients. If it’s an amazing Pinterest competition or engaging copy you require, we have that more than covered with our content & social team.