Last month we took a look at a few of the most prominent social media platforms and outlined the features that distinguish them (check out if you missed it). If that article motivated you to join any of these social networks, or even if you’ve been a social media user for some time, it might be a good idea to brush up on the best ways to maintain your privacy on social media.

There are a number of reasons to maintain a high degree of privacy online, with the most obvious being that you never know who might see your activity. These days employers, lawyers and journalists rely heavily on social media activity to assist in their investigations and you never know how one innocent comment or photo may be perceived in the future.

So what can you do to ensure your social media activity remains private? The first and most important step is to change your default privacy settings on each individual social media platform to a level that you are comfortable with. Every social media platform has a different set of privacy features and limitations, so it’s important look at these before you begin to engage with each network to ensure you are comfortable with how your activity will be viewed by other users (at the end of this article is a comprehensive guide to updating your privacy settings on Facebook).

The next best piece of advice is one of the most obvious, but also one of the most difficult strategies for maintaining a private online presence, and that is to exercise a high degree of discipline in your social media activity. Before you post or link to anything online, keep in mind that employers, coworkers, friends and family members may end up seeing it one way or another.

Let’s take a look at Facebook’s privacy features and the optimum settings to ensure your online activity remains private. This guide only covers Facebook, however similar features are available on all social media platforms, so make sure to go throufacebookgh and adjust your settings accordingly before you start using any other social media network.

First, log into Facebook and click the circled question mark icon in the top right to bring up the ‘Quick Help’ menu. Next, click the ‘Privacy Checkup’ button on the menu. This will bring up a page that allows you to customise the privacy settings for your Posts, Apps and Profile.