Netflix’s thriller, You, starring Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, and Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars is about Joe Goldberg (played by Badgley) and his obsession with Guinevere Beck (played by Lail), which quickly turns from obsession to stalking and escalates from there.
After binge-watching four episodes, here are some privacy tips you can take away from the addictive series.
Lock your phone
No matter what type of smartphone you have, make sure you have a lock code that you must enter to access your device.
Whether it’s a series of numbers or your fingerprint, make sure there’s a line of defense between your phone and whoever tries accessing it.
Password protect your laptop
Just as your phone should be password protected, so should your computer or tablet.
Goldberg gets into Beck’s apartment by reporting a gas leak (it’s scary how easy he made it look) and snoops around. He finds her laptop on her bed and immediately starts going through pictures — probably her browser history — while pondering her life.
Again, the moral of the story is to set up a password on your computer to keep your information safe. Beck by no means deserved to be stalked by the creepy but sometimes charming Goldberg but there are steps she could’ve taken to protect herself better.
Establish a fail-safe in case your phone is lost or stolen
For iPhone users, download and log in to the Find My iPhone app. Logging in with your Apple ID is crucial because in the event your phone is lost or stolen, you can track it down or reset it to factory settings from another phone or computer, which keeps your information safe.
Remember when Goldberg watches Beck set up her new phone while he’s across the street using her old one while he stares through her window? If you have a phone finder app, the Goldberg’s out there won’t be able to do that once you restore factory settings.
Hide your passwords
We get it. It’s hard to remember all your passwords. Keeping a list of them on your phone or computer saved as “passwords” is so easy and convenient. Well, it’s also easy and convenient when they’re in the hands of the wrong people.
Think twice about public profiles
After seeing Goldberg track down Beck on Instagram, we reconsidered keeping our Instagram set to public. There’s so much of ourselves we put online for the world to see we forget there are people who will use the information in a bad way and not just double-tap our photos or comment with heart emojis.
Goldberg made inferences about Beck’s personality, interests, and friends all from looking at her Instagram feed. He even found out where she was when she wasn’t responding to his texts.
He went so far as to drive there and (not so) casually run into to her. He even showed her how he zoomed in on a restaurant in the back of her Instagram photo to find her. It’s downright creepy.
Review your Facebook privacy settings
It can be a pain because Facebook’s privacy settings aren’t the easiest to understand but make sure you’re comfortable with what can be seen on your page.
A good experiment to try is to log out of your account then search your name on Facebook to see what your non-Facebook friends can see of your profile. Sometimes, they can glean your birthday, email address, or phone number simply by clicking on the “About Me” section.
Once you’ve looked over what the public can see of your profile, go into your privacy settings and make the necessary adjustments.
Another similar tactic to employ is Googling yourself. You wouldn’t believe the digital footprint each of us makes by doing anything online.
Take a note from Beck’s friend, Peach Salinger (played by Mitchell). She’s skeptical of Goldberg when she meets him.
She even goes to his work to find out more about him. We’re not saying you have to be afraid to go on a date but you should take your time getting to know someone.