Social media is fast becoming a fundamental part of life. We use to connect to people worldwide, to find useful information and updates, and to keep up with what’s happening in the world. We also share our lives on these platforms, letting our friends (and the world) know what we’re up to on a daily basis. All these are good, but we should be careful about how much personal information we post as these platforms designed for good and convenience, can easily be used to harm others.
So here are some tips to use social media platforms safely:
• Create strong passwords – Your password must have a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. The longer and more complicated the password is, the more secure your social media account will be. Try not to use your birthdate as people could easily figure that out.
• Create different passwords for your other social media accounts – Using the same password for each of your social media accounts is risky. If one account is hacked, then all your other accounts are compromised too.
• Don’t link accounts – Some apps and websites give you an option to log in with your Facebook or Twitter account rather than creating an account with them. If you do link your accounts, the social network may share all the crucial information (e.g. home address, date and place of birth, ID number etc.) it has about you. This can put your social media accounts at risk when a site is hacked.
• Keep your profiles private – Make your profile visible to you only or your friends (some social networks have this option). Make sure your important information such as your email address and phone number is hidden, that is if you choose to make your profile public. This makes it difficult for strangers to get hold of your information online.
• Think before you post – Ask yourself, “Is this something I want my parents, teachers and current/future employers to see?” If the answer is no, then DON’T. Remember your posts can be seen, screenshot and shared by people worldwide.
• Don’t share your personal information with someone you meet on social media – You can never be really sure if people you meet on social media are truly who they claim to be. They could be dangerous. Some people use social media to find perfect targets for scams and other criminal activities. So don’t easily give out personal information.
• Don’t seek popularity – If you get a friend request from someone you don’t know in real life, DO NOT ACCEPT. Criminals can create fake social media accounts so that they can befriend others and obtain their personal information.
We hope you will find these tips useful and please comment with more if you have. Let’s stay safe!
Tell us: Have you ever had a bad incident on social media? How did you resolve it?
For more related topics read: Keep Safe Online