How To

Staying Safe on Social Media

Social media has become a crux in everyday life – everyone is on it and wants to share everything in their life. The best part of this sharing is being able to stay in touch with family and friends who may live in different parts of the world.The downside to this sharing, though, can be putting your safety in jeopardy.

Follow these safety tips to keep your family safe on social:

Determine the purpose for each account
It may sound strange, but it’s important to decide what you’ll be posting on each site. Perhaps you want to use Facebook for personal matters such as posting family photos and keeping in touch with friends. Perhaps you are a marketing professional and want to use Twitter to post industry trends and expand your network.

Knowing this will help determine how you move forward.

Keep all personal accounts private
Social sites used personal use should made private to avoid unwanted eyes on your information. Similarly, only approve friend requests from people you actually know. A recent trend has been for thieves to follow individuals to see where they live, when they will be away from home and what processions may be in the home.

If you have a professional account, determine if limits should be set on privacy. Many sites like LinkedIn let you keep some information private unless you have accepted a friend request. Additionally, be sure you are not posting personal information on these types of accounts.

Set boundaries for children/young adults
The best rule of thumb is to have the password for your child’s social accounts. This way you can look for inappropriate photos, but also conversations via direct message, hashtags, tags and their friends list. Note that Snapchat and Instagram stories have an expiration date so content does not stick around long. If you do see something you’re not comfortable with, you have the option to delete photos/stories, block users and un-tag photos.

It may sound a little much, but doing so can keep them from getting in trouble in the long run. Be sure to also have an honest conversation about social media and the potential dangers that can come from it.

Use caution when geotagging photos
It’s a popular habit to tag the restaurant or airport when posting photos. Doing so, however, bring us back to the safety of your home and belongings as followers will know that you’re not at home. If you really wish to share this information, consider posting the photo later on with the tag #latergram.

Report suspicious activity
Illegal or suspicious activity should always be reported to the police. Cyberbullying or spam should be taken seriously, but reported in the proper ways to the social provider.

Click here to view Facebook’s reporting policy

Click here to view Twitter’s reporting policy

Click here to view Instagram’s reporting policy

Click here to view Snapchat’s reporting policy

Click here to view Pinterest’s reporting policy

Remember that social sites are meant to be fun and informative. Putting safety first makes the entire community a better place.

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