Social Media Safety: What You Need to Know
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Table of contents
Are you looking to connect with your loved ones through social media?
Studies show that 59.3% of the global population uses social media as of 2022. Social media is great for sharing details about your life with distant loved ones. It can also help you connect with new people and find communities that share your interests.
But are you aware of the risks of using social media? Social media can be a dangerous place if you don’t know how to navigate your way around it. You can encounter inappropriate content, phishing attacks, and privacy issues.
However, you shouldn’t let this stop you from connecting with the people you love. Learn all about social media safety here.
Learn How Social Media Works
Before you create accounts, learn how social media works. Despite their simplicity, the different platforms become complex when getting to know them.
To start, determine how you want to use social media. Nowadays, you can do more than share text, like video sharing and social networking. Social media is a great tool for promoting and developing your brand, there are many different tools for a small business in social media that help to simplify many processes, like post templates and social media calendar.
After identifying how you want to connect with people on social media, you can search for the best platforms. If you like to share photos and videos, Instagram is the best app.
When you finish deciding what platforms to use, start creating your accounts. When you make your profile, ensure you put factual information. Then, explore the site to familiarize yourself with its different functions.
Don’t forget to study the community guidelines!
Limit the Personal Information You Share
Practicing online safety starts by choosing which information you want to share online. Although using social media is beneficial, oversharing can do more harm than good. The more information you share, the higher the risk you expose yourself to danger.
Cybercriminals can profit from the details you share. They can steal your identity, harass you, and commit other crimes for their benefit.
Start by limiting the information you post. Never publicize personal details that cybercriminals can use to decode sensitive information. This includes information like your birth date and contact number.
Also, avoid posting “too much information” on your accounts. We know it’s your account, and you can use it however you want. But keep in mind that not everyone knows you on a personal level.
If you’re Facebook friends with your boss and co-workers, choose what to post wisely. What do you think did they feel after seeing you post memes about work? Always consider the people who can see your content and how it can affect them.
Keep Your Privacy Settings On
Have you ever experienced seeing ads related to your searches? When browsing the web, you leave traces of your online activities. Marketers collect your data to know which products and services they can advertise to you.
For some, it’s useful because they discover more product options. However, hackers can access your browsing and social media usage, too. This makes you vulnerable to identity theft, malware infection, and more.
One way to hide data is to turn on your social media privacy settings. In the device’s system, you can find a function that allows you to protect your data online.
Most, if not all, social media sites and apps provide privacy settings. You can turn them on and adjust them for extra security. By enabling privacy settings, cybercriminals cannot access your information.
Protect Your Location
Protecting your location should be of utmost priority if you want to stay safe online. By turning the setting off, you can protect yourself from crimes.
Some platforms have location settings, which you can turn on or off. When you enable Location Access, you get better local search results. This shows your exact location and tells how far you are from where you want to go.
If you want to go café hopping in the city, your search results show you the shops near you based on your location.
Your location gets tagged when you post content on your account. Through this function, people can determine your exact location. Apart from personal information, cybercriminals can track your whereabouts online.
The downside of this program is it allows crooked personalities to stalk and harass you.
Think Before You Click
Always “Think Before You Click.” It encourages people to reflect on their decisions and their consequences.
Keep in mind that everything you post online stays on the web forever. Regardless if you deleted the original content, you never know how many people saved and shared a copy. When you share information online, you give others the power to use it against you.
Being mindful of your posts has the potential to raise awareness, stop misinformation, and more. If only a few people deserve to see your post, it’s best not to post them. Never post something online that you can regret later on.
Be Careful About Who You Meet Online
Using social media, people can hide their identity behind the screen. As a result, you can never confirm if the people you meet online are real or fake. In this situation, it’s hard to determine their real intention of approaching you.
Based on reports, many fake profiles exist on different platforms. These users steal pictures and information of other people to make their accounts look believable. But why do hackers do what they do?
The first is to collect money from many users. Before you even realize it, your account is empty. Another reason is getting crucial information to hack their accounts.
Some people create fake accounts to connect and groom children. If you have a child in high school, teach them how to stay safe online.
A Guide to Social Media Safety
With social media, people can share information and build connections. However, twisted minds use them to do evil deeds, too. This is why you must never be complacent when using social media platforms.
To protect yourself from the dangers of these platforms, practice social media safety. Are you new to technology and want to explore new digital platforms? Check out our social media guide on how to find and connect with a loved one on social media.