Top Tips for Staying Safe on Social Media
Read this article for very simple tips to keep you safe while using different social media accounts. Know how to protect your personal information and safeguard your privacy online.
Social media has opened up an amazing world of sharing, communicating, and discovering new people and interests. However, with this emergence has also come the greater threat of being hacked, having your personal information viewed or stolen, or else subjected to abusive or threatening behavior. This is why it's important to stay as safe as possible when using social media, and the following should always be considered.
Be Aware of What You're Posting
It may seem like a completely innocent picture between you and friends, but if you've made the post publicly, then anybody online can view that photo – and save it to their phone to do as they please. You should consider any sensitive information included in any posts you make, including things that might be visible in the background of photos such as an address, street name or private information.
Even Snapchat posts, which may be considered safe due to the fact that they only last for a few seconds, can easily be screenshotted by another and saved permanently. Snapchat user statistics show that the social app is very popular with younger people, highlighting how remaining safe online at a more vulnerable age is key.
Consider Setting Your Account to Private
Instagram allows you the option to set your social media account to private or public. If you are using your account only for personal reasons, you should consider setting it to private to ensure that only your accepted friends can view everything you post. However, this doesn't mean that everything is blocked – although your posts won't be visible, visitors can still see your profile picture and your header paragraph, so be cautious of the information you reveal there, too.
With other social media accounts such as Facebook, you can actively choose which information you want to be visible to certain individuals, with the option of everyone, just friends or me only.
View Friend Requests Carefully
Social media has fast become a popularity game, with people who have more followers or Facebook friends viewed as more in-demand. However, this doesn't mean that you should be tempted to accept each and every friend request that comes through, just to make your number higher.
You should only accept friend requests from people you know, in order to eliminate any potential for fake accounts or strangers. It's better to have only 10 Facebook friends who you know and trust than 500 strangers who can view your personal information and posts.
Use Strong Passwords and Protect Your Device
Most social media apps and systems now prompt a strong password using different characters and numbers, and you should ensure you follow these guidelines and make your password as strong as possible. You should also avoid using personal information such as the name of your favorite pet if you're prone to posting photos of your pet on social media with the name in plain view.
You should also use password protection on your device if using social media to ensure that anybody who picks up your device doesn't then easily have access to your social media accounts.