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Think before you tweet.
Think before you tweet. / Daniel Allan/Getty Images

Even savvy users could stand a refresher on how to behave on social networking sites. “You create a permanent digital footprint every time you tweet or post something,” warns Julie Spira, founder of

Other people can spread your pictures and posts, and the Library of Congress archives every public tweet. So it’s crucial that you think before you use social media. Her advice:

Less is more.

“If you’re not sure you should post something, don’t.” On Facebook, post no more than four times a day. Logging in at work is a “digital equivalent of hanging out by the water cooler.”

Keep boundaries.

Want to “friend” your teen? About two-thirds of 16-to-18-year-olds are willing to be friends with their parents on Facebook, according to a Kaplan Test Prep survey. And there are good reasons to gain access to your child’s profile: You can keep an eye out for things like cyber-bullying and mentions of parties or alcohol. Just be sure to ask first.

“Say, ‘I’m not going to spy on you or write embarrassing things on your wall. But if I see something that gives me pause, I’ll ask you about it.’” Don’t push if your teen says no.

Use common sense.

Don’t post medical issues; not only is it TMI (too much info), your insurance can use it. Don’t bad-talk your employer, and don’t pester pals to play Farmville. “Would the equivalent behavior be acceptable in real life? If the answer is no, then forget it.”

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