Follow these simple steps to connect with confidence and safely navigate the social media world:
If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or puts your personal security at risk, let them know. Likewise, stay open-minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them (especially with sensitive personal data), and it’s important to respect those differences. And don’t hesitate to report any instance of cyberbullying you see!
Work with your social media platform to report (and possibly block) harassing users. Report an incident if you’ve been a victim of cybercrime — it may surprise you to know that local and national authorities are ready to help with these situations as there has been a rise in this activity in recent years.
Remember, there’s no “Delete” button on the internet. Share with care because, even if you delete a post or picture from your profile seconds after posting it — chances are someone still saw it, or even saved it.
Set the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Disable geotagging (which allows anyone to see where you are — and where you aren’t — at any given time) and consider setting up your account to approve when you’re tagged in a photo. Remember, even if you don’t post to your social media profile that you’re traveling and away from your home, a good indicator of you being out of town is a photo from Las Vegas that your best friend tagged you in.
While some social networks might seem safer for connecting because of the limited personal information shared through them, keep your connections to people you know and trust. Don’t add random people without properly vetting their intentions. It’s a good idea to always ensure you know someone, or ask a mutual acquaintance, before accepting a connection.
Social media platforms can be incredibly useful to share family photos, information about events, opinions and messages of support! But they can also be useful to fraudsters and criminals with less-than-ideal intentions. Always keep a close eye on your account, and you’ll continue to safely stay connected with those who matter most to you for years to come.