The fact that Facebook alone has over 2 billion active users demonstrates what a fantastic communication tool social media is and how it has become such a key part of our lives. But what goes online, stays online and we all need to know about the dangers that exist in social media and how to protect ourselves from them.
The key dangers fall into 2 broad categories. Firstly, your online footprint/reputation and secondly how online fraudsters steal from you.
In this guide we are going to focus on the first category, your online footprint. In general terms your online reputation can be a good thing, but a bad footprint can put off prospective employers, prospective partners, universities etc., etc. You need to think about what you are posting and who has access to it. Ask yourself what do your friends and followers need to know? And, keep an eye on what your friends and contacts say about you online.
How you do this:
- AUDIENCE – Who do you want to share with? Your friends? Everyone? If it’s not everyone, then you need to change it.
- OVER SHARING? – Avoid sharing personal details on social media (address, phone number, date of birth and email address).
- INAPPROPRIATE PHOTO? – Get rid of it.
- UNWANTED TAG? – Pay attention to who tags you in posts and pictures, get rid of them if they are inappropriate.
Keeping your accounts safe
All the above is irrelevant if we fail to keep our account safe, follow these rules to stay secure:
- SECURE ACCESS – All the social media platforms have the option to enable two-factor authentication, usually an SMS to your mobile or an email to provide a code, this is one of the simplest and strongest ways to stop hackers from hacking into your account
- UNUSUAL LOGIN? – Change your security settings to send alerts to your inbox, should anyone log in from a device you don’t normally use.
- LOCATION SHARING – If you don’t want to share your location, you can turn this off.
- STRANGER REQUEST? – Don’t befriend people that you do not know, even if they are ‘friends of friends. Just ignore them.
- BLOCK – Immediately block someone if they become intrusive, asking personal questions (address, date of birth etc..) or for money.
Please follow these tips and safely enjoy your social media.