Search form

(Updated May 2017)

For most REALTORS®, social media has become an integral part of their marketing and communication efforts with clients, family and friends. This new media also brings with it some concerns over privacy and security. The rules of the game keep changing. Gone are the days when 'default' options are good enough. This updated field guide will give you background information on concerns with various popular social media sites as well as provide tips and suggestions to protect your privacy and identity. (A. Creitz, Information & Web Content Specialist)

E – EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page. 


The state of privacy in post-Snowden America, (Pew Research Center, 2016).

What will the privacy and security landscape look like in 2025?, (The Guardian, Sept. 7, 2015).

Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance, (Pew Research Center, May 20, 2015).

Twitter still has an identity problem eight years later, (ReadWrite, Mar. 17, 2014). Users still have a hard time understanding where Twitter draws the line between a public and private social network.

Social Media research raises privacy and ethics issues, (USA Today, Mar. 12, 2014). Vast amounts of information collected by private companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter, give new insight into all aspects of everyday life.

Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online, (Pew Research Center, Sept. 2013). Survey of public opinion about online privacy, steps people have taken, attitudes toward effectiveness.

What they Know, (Wall Street Journal). The hub for the paper’s multi-year series on digital privacy and technology with articles on tracking, data mining, leaks, security, the law, and consumer privacy.

Using Privacy & Security Settings

Read the privacy policies of Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter

The Most Powerful Single Click in Your Facebook Privacy Settings, (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2017).

How to Avoid Unwanted Communications on Social Media, (Gizmodo Field Guide, 2017).

Every Link You Need to Fine-Tune Your Social Media Privacy, (Medium, Mar. 13, 2015).

What You Can Do About Facebook Tracking, (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 5, 2014). How to understand the social network's privacy policy and take control of targeted ads.

The paranoid’s survival guide, part 2: Protect your privacy on social, mobile and more, (ComputerWorld, Mar. 2014). Part 1 covers how to maintain your online privacy and surf the Web without leaving a data trail. Part 2 of this story covers privacy and mobile computing, email and social media. Part 3 will explore offline tips.

LinkedIn Privacy: 5 safety tips, (Information Week, Feb. 18, 2014). Protect your LinkedIn account by browsing securely, keeping your activity private, and recognizing signs of malicious behavior.

2011 Data Security and Privacy Toolkit [PDF]. NAR’s toolkit aims to educate real estate associations, brokers, agents, and multiple listing services about the need for data security and privacy; and to assist them in complying with legal responsibilities.

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

30 Days to Social Media Success (Adobe eReader)

42 Rules of Social Media for Small Business (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Auditing Social Media: A Governance and Risk Guide (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

I'm on Facebook—Now What??? (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

I'm on LinkedIn—Now What??? (Adobe eReader)

LinkedIn for Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Manager's Guide to Social Media (Adobe eReader)

Maximize Your Social (Kindle Book, OverDrive Read, EPUB eBook, PDF eBook)

Social Media Marketing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Profile in Social Media Networking Sites—And Much More—101 World Class Expert Facts, Hints, Tips and Advice on Social Media (Adobe eReader)

The Truth About Facebook—How to Use Facebook for Marketing and Advertising, and Much More—The Facts You Should Know (Adobe eReader)

Twitter for Dummies (Adobe eReader)

New titles are being added all the time. Do your own search in the eBook Collection. Try 'social media' as a term in the 'search eBook Collection' box.

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®

Field Guide to Smart Device Safety

Field Guide to Twitter

Information Services Blog

Have an Idea for a New Field Guide?

Click here to send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.