When joining the latest social network du jour, follow these best practices.
- Create an alternate email address for account sign-up: If you don't want to be found, then sign up for your social networking sites — from Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter — with a secondary or alternate email address so that when people search for you based on the email in their contact list, they don't find you immediately. This will allow you more control over who can see your profiles. If your accounts are already set up, then change the default email to a new one to prevent any new snoops. You may also consider using one email account when you sign up for sites in an effort to keep your social networking organized.
- Disable all GPS/locator apps and settings: Don't want people to know you're tweeting from the coffee shop around the corner from your ex's place at 9 a.m. on Sunday? Don't tweet with your location enabled, and don't sign up for Google Latitude, which will allow friends insight into your locale.
- Clear tracking cookies — Keep Facebook from tracking your website history by clearing your cookies often.