Social media is an amazing advancement for our society. The invention of social media has opened so many doors, that could not have been possible before their creation. Social media dominates our world, and at this point is very crucial in our society. Nowadays, most people have social media whether it may be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tiktok. Those are just a few of the social media platforms. Social media is how individuals communicate with one another daily.
Another identity is formed online when an individual creates an account on a social media platform. Social media platforms are a whole different community of their own, comprised of digital identities. Just like there are dangers in the real world, there are dangers to be aware of in the virtual world. Once your information is on the internet, it is on their permanently. The scarier part is that almost anyone can view it. Make privacy a priority, and learn how to protect your personal information on social media. Here are some easy ways to make sure that your personal information is safe.
1. Learn About The Platform’s Privacy Settings
2. Watch Out For Oversharing
This cannot be emphasized enough. Oversharing can be extremely dangerous. Your followers do not need to know every intimate detail of your life, most of them probably do not care that much. There are settings on the apps that allow you to share information safely. Facebook, and Instagram both have private story features. Basically, this allows only certain people who the user hand selects to view the story.
If you want to share about a crazy night out, this would be the place to do so. This way only people who you can trust are seeing your story. As mentioned before, once something is on the internet it out there permanently. Once it is out there who knows what people will do that information. The story from your fun night out may end up getting in the wrong hands. Businesses look at social media prior to hiring a new employee. This is just something to think about when posting information on social media.
3. Do Not Share Personal Information
This is the most important social media safety tip. Do not ever, under any circumstance, share any personal information. You can share personal information with someone you know if you know for a fact that the other account is them. It is best to share personal information through direct messaging. This way no one else can see the personal information you chose to share. Do not ever share your social security number, home address, phone number, or credit card number online. Another bit of information to never share on social media is your exact location. Once again, you do not know who is viewing that information.
For example, Snapchat has a map that allows others to see your location. The map is fairly accurate and can determine your location down to almost the exact building. There is a feature on Snapchat that allows only certain people to see your location on the map. This is a good option for if you would like some followers to see your exact location. There can be benefits to having trusted people to see your location. Instead of compromising your safety by sharing your location, check out the app Find My Friends. This is a much safer alternative. There is rarely ever a reason where sharing this would be necessary. Just be safe, and avoid sharing personal information at any cost.
4. Pay Attention To Who Follows You
Pay attention to people who follow you. If your social media account is public pay extra close attention. If your account is public anybody can follow you, and see your information. Look out for weird accounts that may follow you. Notice if this person has any followers in common with yours and check their tagged photos. If the person and you follow the same people, there is a good chance that the profile is real. Check their tagged photos, see if they are tagged in photos with people who you know. Check to see how many followers the person has. If you notice that they follow around 200 people, but have 1 follower that is a bit suspicious. If you do not know the person, you do not need to allow them to follow you. At the end of the day, it does not matter how many followers a person has on social media if it compromises their safety.
5. Do Not Respond To People Who You Do Not Know
Social media can be a great networking resource for business purposes or forming a friendship. However, it is not uncommon to hear about tragic situations arising from social media. Be cautious when messaging other individuals on social media. If someone messages you who looks strange, do not respond. Plain and simple. Message only people you know. If by chance, you get an inappropriate message block the individual who sent it! This prevents the individual from having any further contact. Report any user that may be posting inappropriate content, or messaging your inappropriate messages.