Social media has taken the world by storm in recent years. Millions of people worldwide have active accounts and take part in daily posts and sharing of information about their daily lives. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and share positive things.
It can also be a source of information and a way to find out about local events, get recommendations and find professionals in the area. However, using social media comes with a risk, and it’s important to prioritize safety to avoid any unpleasant situations from occurring. What steps should you take to ensure you stay safe online? Read on for some safety tips for the main social media platforms.
Facebook has 2.85 billion active users and is the most popular social media site currently used. It’s a great way to stay connected with family and friends, find old connections, and join groups of people that share similar interests. But there are risks, and it’s wise to use caution.
Be careful when sharing information on FB. People are clever, and many seemingly innocent posts are constructed to find out information. Identity thieves are always finding new scams and are clever at covering their tracks. Even if something seems innocent, you should never reveal the following:
- Bank details
- Information such as mother’s maiden name (a way of finding passwords)
In addition, try to avoid revealing where photos are taken and any information that could reveal your address or location. It doesn’t mean you should refrain from sharing fun things, just be aware about revealing identifiable information.
Always ensure that you have good security software to identify threats. Without it, identity thieves could potentially create a Facebook profile with your information to steal personal details. Thankfully, Facebook overhauled its privacy settings a few years ago and is now safer than before. It’s wise to use the integrated settings to limit access to your posts from non friends. It’s also crucial that you don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
It could be said that Instagram is the platform of choice for younger people. There is more focus on sharing photos rather than statuses which comes with its own risks.
As an Instagram user, your account is public by default, so you must manually go into settings to change it. A private account will limit who can see posts, and they won’t be able to follow you unless they request it. Another useful feature is the ability to block people who are a nuisance. If someone you feel unsafe with is interacting with you, you can simply open the menu, tap on block user and select the name. Even if they choose to mention you in future posts, they can, but it can’t be found in your activity.
You can also decide and control what comments appear on your post. If someone makes a comment you don’t want to see, especially if you feel it poses a security risk, simply swipe left and tap on the bin icon and it’ll be gone.
Instagram has also introduced a handy feature that requests a security code if you, or someone else, tries to log in from a different device than normal. Occasionally there may be a problem with receiving the code and can be challenging to fix. If Instagram isn’t sending a security code, there are several things you can do to rectify the problem, such as uninstalling and reinstalling the app. You can also use some back up codes if needed. If you still have trouble, you can contact Instagram customer service for assistance.
Twitter has become a popular platform for sharing ideas and opinions with people all over the world and as such has also become a place that can trigger bullying, abuse, and provocation. It has also become a bed of targeted campaigns against specific people or groups. How can you avoid the drama and still enjoy the positive aspects of Twitter?
Like the other platforms, Twitter offers the two factor verification tool, which is helpful when setting up the account. You can choose how you receive verification, such as text or email. The benefit of this is it stops any potential infiltrators hacking your account and running riot with your identity.
The public nature of Twitter means that strangers everywhere can see your posts, and we are all aware there are some bad people out there. To mitigate this you do have the option to tweet privately, so posts can only be seen by followers. Click on settings, privacy, and then select ‘protect your tweets’ this way no one can retweet what you post, and you won’t be so visible.
Another default setting on Twitter is the Tweet location. Although the intention is that it’s easier to connect with others in similar places, it is also a safety risk. However, you are able to disable this feature by going to settings and privacy and turning it off, you can also delta all past locations too.
Social media has become part of our lives but by being vigilant and remembering the importance of safety it can continue to be a positive experience.