Social media has become an important part of our lives. Whether we use it to communicate with family and friends or share photos and videos, social networks have millions of users. Online is not the place to be careless and unsafe. Although you may not think about it, it can be easily turned against you. There have been many occasions when social media posts have been used to destroy reputations and careers. It is becoming more important day by day to stay safe online.
Exposure on social networks doesn’t always have the effect we want. It is also a way for scammers and hackers to play games and steal sensitive information. Have you ever wondered about your safety online? The information you share and the friends’ requests you accept? Maybe it all seems harmless to you but everything can be used by scammers. Before trying apps and ways to protect your information and online profile, the first step you should take is not to share too much information that can be easily used against you.
To make the best of social media and have a positive experience, there are some tips you can follow to stay safe online. Read them carefully and then try to apply them next time you share something on social media.
- Don’t share too much
You have to learn what to share and with whom. While there is information you can share with your friends and follower, there are some things that should be kept private. For your own safety, never share your phone number or home address on social networks such as Facebook. Also, never give details about bank accounts or passwords through social media. These are the details that are the easiest to steal online.
- Be selective with new friends’ requests
Yes, the purpose of social media is to help us connect with friends and family that are far away. And while we may want to grow a big network of friends and connections, don’t fall under the trap to accept all friend requests that come your way. Not everyone is who they claim to be online. A flaw of social networks is that you cannot verify someone’s identity to make sure they are truly who they claim to be. There are many false accounts that are up and running and people behind them don’t always have the best intentions.
- Be careful with what you post
If there is something you should know is that what is posted online stays online. This should be a reminder to all of us next time we post something on social media. You may just want to share a nice holiday photo with your network. But it is also a way for burglars to find out your home is unguarded. Or maybe there is an embarrassing selfie at a party that may seem harmless now. But it may affect your career later on. Although you may try to delete it, the post could already be saved by others.
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- Know the difference between Friends and Public posts
Luckily, social networks are constantly updating and creating features. One of the good ones is that they allow you to choose who you share your every post with. You are free to select the privacy of every photo you share or every personal update. Posts shared only with friends are not visible to those you are connected with. But those shared publicly can be seen by everyone on Facebook.
- Choose a strong password and update it constantly
This is something you hear about every time you create a new account on a website. A strong password, hard to guess by hackers, it’s crucial to keeping your information safe. According to guidelines, a strong password should have at least eight characters, both numbers, and letters, preferably mixed up to make it harder to crack. Also, it should be changed every three months as an extra safety measure. And remember to always log off from devices that you are not using exclusively, such as public computers.
- Privacy settings
You probably know by now that every social media network has a section called Privacy settings. Here you can easily set up your profile privacy and features such as who can find you on social media, who can view your posts or your personal information. You can choose to share your location with the network and review posts that have you tagged in. Also, you can block profiles of people with who you don’t want to interact.
Social media is supposed to be fun and interactive. With these tips to stay safe online, you can enjoy only the positive aspects of social networks. Keep your data and yourself protected and don’t let bad experiences disconnect you from your network of friends.