Social Media: a vehicle for communication; a broad term that encompasses several different types of media, such as video-sharing, photo-sharing, blogs, etc.
Today, there are seemingly millions of social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and the list goes on. Each of these sites offers a unique way to showcase about yourself and connect with others. However, it is important to use safety measures when using these sites. You don't want to give away too much information about yourself.
Whether you're on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, What's App or Twitter, the way you communicate with friends today is changing. Over the last few years the popularity of social media and networking has skyrocketed, with over 80 percent of teens using some form of social media. Although there are several means of social media, the purpose of social media remains simple: it allows users to connect with other people like friends, relatives, and even strangers from virtually anywhere anytime!
But, although these social media sites may allow us to interact and network with others, we must remember to be careful while using these sites. The internet allows for a sense of anonymity: Keeping in touch is no longer about face to face, but instead screen to screen, highlighted by the fact that more than 1 billion people are using Facebook every day. So, you can't always be sure of exactly who you are talking to. For instance, a person you are interacting with may not be the person they say they are: they could give you a fake age, gender, or name. These predators form relationships online with unsuspecting kids and convince these people to meet them in person or give them access to other valuable personal information. The lack of physical interaction in social media may lead to a false sense of security, but beware of who you interact with on the internet.
Since most of you all have social media, it is important to follow some guidelines to ensure that your personal information is safe online. To start with, you must remember that unless your account is private, the content on your account can be viewed by anyone, including peers, potential employers, or even strangers, so be careful not to post anything you wouldn't want everyone to see. Make sure that the information you post and the information posted about you does not contain any sensitive information or details about your personal life. Also make sure to get the okay from others before posting information, including photos, about other people. If your profile is public, criminals can use status updates to target you. Therefore, it is a good rule of thumb to keep all photos or tagged photos private, or assign visibility to friends only. It is also important to review privacy and security settings often since settings on social networking sites can change frequently.
Before you post something, consider if your parents or grandparents would approve of what you have to say. If the answer is no, it is best to reconsider what you have to post, as anything you post or say on the internet cannot be deleted easily, especially in the day and age of screenshots. Also, many of the things you post can be reshared by others, so don't rely on being able to delete what you post. So, it is best to exercise good judgement when posting personal information. Future employers or colleges may have access to this information, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Never share any information such as your address, information about your schedule, your birth date, phone number, or personal family information, since that can be used for dangerous purposes.
Things to watch out for:
Geotagging/GPS tracking – Many apps allow you to enable location tracking settings, meaning that people can view your location as long as you are logged in. Allowing strangers or people you don't know that well know your location at all times is extremely dangerous, so it is important you change the settings to turn your location tracking off, or only allow trusted people such as your parents to view your location. If you do not know the person well, and especially if you have never met in person, do not allow that person to view your location.
Check default settings – you may not even think to check the default settings. Many of the default settings include settings about who can view what information. You may want to review these settings and make sure only people you trust can view your account.
Stranger Danger – We all learn stranger danger when we are little. Never talk to or take candy from strangers. It is common sense now, but it is absolutely crucial to understand while you are using social media. Never friend people you do not know. Many hackers or attackers pose as children to gain your trust, and will leverage that trust to manipulate you. Always use caution when accepting friend requests.
Keep Anti-virus software and web browser up to date – Newer versions of anti-virus software and web browsers often have better anti-virus and security policies.
- Over 75% of all Internet users use social media.
- One wrong social media post can change your life.
- Things you post are permanent.
- If you okay with your mom or dad seeing it, then it should be a-okay to post!