Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, we never really have a reason to pick up the phone and speak to people anymore.
We’re always plugged in – always – and as we spend more time using social media to interact with others, grow businesses, and connect to social circles outside our own, the power of the internet becomes ever more immeasurable.
Needless to say, it can be just as dangerous as it is fun and useful. So, we thought we’d give you a few tips on how to protect yourself when you enter the world of social media. Here we go:
1. Don’t send/direct message any content you wouldn’t want reposted. Unfortunately, there are many social media users who will not respect your privacy.
2. Don’t post your location while you’re at that location, especially if you are traveling out of the country. Make sure to notify your bank when traveling to have fraud alerts turned on.
3. Please remember that the internet is permanent – especially if you’re popular. You should assume that someone will screenshot everything you put up.
4. Choose your friends wisely. You are granting them direct access to any videos, selfies, and other content that you post.
5. Don’t post anything that’s very personal. Never send anyone or post your banking information. Avoid sharing personal details that are used by financial institutions to identify you, such as your birth date, home address, mother’s maiden name, schools attended/mascots and pet’s name. Fraudsters may use this type of information to help gain access to an account since they are common answers to security questions.
6. Remember that your current job (and future employers) can easily gain access to your profiles.
7. Change your password every now and then to avoid being hacked.
8. Always carefully review the privacy options for any social network you join. The privacy options and tools for social networks can be complex and should be reviewed carefully so that there is no disclosure of information you meant to remain private.
9. The blocking feature is there for a reason – use it.
10. Monitor the posts friends tag you in. On most social media platforms, these posts are available to anyone who can see your account, unless you specify otherwise. You may not post your location, but if your friend does, and it shows up on your feed, what’s the difference?
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, Jared Eberhardt