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Five crucial Facebook dos and don'ts

Social-networking etiquette you should observe

Social-networking can be a minefield. Users should think twice before posting information and imagez, as one hurried post could kill your working and personal relationships in one fell swoop. We've rounded up the top five Facebook etiquette tips to ensure you never get into social-networking trouble.

While Facebook may have taken over the internet (and the world for that matter), it's worth remembering that information you post on a social-networking site cis there for all the world to see, forever.

For example, the immediacy and ease with which you can post a quip on Facebook may get you into trouble if you're teasing your significant other - plus tell work colleagues more than they need or want to know about your relationship.

However Kirsten Dixson, a reputation management and online identity expert, has devised a list of five rules that will keep you on the appropriate social-networking etiquette path. Because Facebook mixes your personal and professional life, she says it requires more careful attention than LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, which keeps a strictly all-business look and feel due to its design.

Here are Dixson's suggestions for managing your Facebook profile and your overall social-networking persona, and warnings about places where you can get into trouble with people who matter to you personally and professionally.

1. Choosing your profile picture

Some people militantly believe that Facebook is all personal while LinkedIn is all professional. If this sounds like you, you might choose a Facebook pic of yourself fishing, hanging out at a party or playing a guitar. But Dixson says you're better off to err on the side of caution here, by keeping your profile picture professional, or at least neutral. Your photo doesn't need to be in a studio with a boring canvas backdrop - it could be outside in your garden or on a mountain side, for instance - but it has to be fairly even-keeled. (This is different than LinkedIn, where photos should be strictly professional, Dixson says).

According to Dixson, don't post profile pictures that are "too sexy, cartoonish or that might alienate your audience". A look through your friend list can usually reveal the ones she's talking about. The stylized glamour shot, the quick snapshot of slicked up hair or low-cut dresses taken right before heading to a party, or worse, costume-like pics: wet suits and surfboards, bike gear, Halloween outfits - the list goes on.

NEXT PAGE: Filling out your biography

  1. Social networking etiquette you should observe
  2. Filling out your biography
  3. Posting content, links, and news
  4. Talking to one vs many

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