The various social media platforms available like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer a great way to network professionally. In addition, you can use these platforms to connect with friends and socialize with other people who share the same interests as you.
However, when you haven’t the people in real life, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. It is effortless for people to hide their identities and true intentions within these platforms.
This article looks at some tips on how you can protect yourself on social media while still enjoying the perks that these platforms offer.
Tips on how to protect yourself on social media
1. Ensure you have a safe connection
The first thing to make sure you are protected on social media starts before logging in to them. Your computer should be equipped with the latest security software. This software will detect and remove viruses that would be otherwise harmful to your computer. Without this kind of software, the virus will steal your login credentials and passwords to log in to your socials.
On the same note, do not use public WIFI found in cafes or restaurants to access any of your personal information. This is because hackers may use these networks to access this information and use it for malicious purposes.
2. Be aware of which information about you is public
Have you ever googled yourself? If you haven’t, it will be a good idea to start now. This way, you know which personal information about you is publicly available online, including videos and images. An excellent way to keep tabs on your information online is to set a google alert so you will be notified once new information about you is available publicly.
Be wary of information and photos that friends post about you online. It’d be a good idea to let them know about your preferences beforehand. This way, you ensure you don’t find critical information about yourself that you didn’t know was available publicly to begin with.
3. Check your privacy and security settings
All the social media platforms available have offered security settings so you can control which information you share with friends and publicly. These settings change from time to time. Therefore, ensure that you check these settings and adjust them accordingly to protect critical information.
Another rule of thumb is to make sure that you select strong passwords for your socials. This way, hackers cannot get your information and act like you online. Make sure you don’t use the same password for all the platforms. An excellent and undetectable password includes small and uppercase numbers, letters, and symbols. This makes a super-strong password that is impossible to guess.
Don’t share your passwords with anyone; ensure that you regularly change them. It is a brilliant idea to opt for a two-step authentication whenever you are logging in to these platforms/sites if it is available. Also, opt for email notifications whenever new devices log in to your socials. If you have any third-party apps that automatically log in to your socials, check them regularly and discontinue the ones you no longer use.
4. Screen your friends’ requests before accepting them
You’ll inevitably receive countless friend requests on social media platforms like Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Facebook. In this case, it is paramount to make sure that you screen these requests before accepting them. This way, you’ll always be sure that when you share information about yourself, you’re sharing it with people you can trust.
5. Refrain from sharing personal information online
No matter which social medial platform you’re on, make sure you don’t share your personal information on any of them. This includes information like your home address, phone number, email address, credit card information, and family information. People with malice can use this information to recreate your identity. According to Lawrina, you can hire a competent lawyer in the event that there is a case against you on impersonation.
Do not open any messages or emails that look suspicious or even reply to them. Don’t open links embedded in these emails; provide your phone number or email address to any web page you may be redirected to.
6. Engage responsibly on your social account
A good rule of thumb to remember every time you post photos or anything else online is never to post anything you’d do not want your family to see. Remember that once you’ve posted online, this information will always be findable even if you delete it.
7. Know the different types of phishing out there
Endless phone calls from unknown numbers and chain emails are examples of phishing tactics. Other types of phishing include:
- Requests for money even from friends who’ve created new accounts.
- Links to games and quizzes that first require your bank details or phone number.
- Lottery and sweepstake swimming. This kind of win ar never distributed on social media platforms.
- Shortened URLs. There is a possibility that some of these may hide malware and viruses.
- Romantic interests, especially sudden ones that are asking for money.
- Links that ask you to pay money for an opportunity to work or make money from home.
8. Research everything before you share, and click the data
To ensure that you are safe on social media:
- Conduct your research before you click through or share data on social media.
- In other words, evaluate everything and keep an eye on any suspicious messages you may get.
- If a friend you know asks for money through social media, follow through with a call to make sure that it is them asking for assistance.
As awkward as this might feel, it’ll prevent the possibility of a scam.
9. Review your tags
Social platforms like Facebook allow you to review posts that you’ve been tagged in. This is an excellent feature as it allows you to consent to the tags or not. If any of the tags don’t feel comfortable to you, you have the right to refuse the post.
10. Protect your location data
Mobile devices are potentially at risk of exposing your location as they trust cellular and network providers. This means that your real-time location is shared with these providers every time you use the network. Most of these social platforms will request permission to view the user’s location. However, they don’t need them to function correctly.
On the same note, your phone’s camera also has a GPS function enabled. This will mean that the location information is shared when you share photos you’ve taken using your phone. Ensure that you turn off this feature in your camera settings. This website provides more information about location protection.
The Bottom Line
On the internet, social media platforms can be a dangerous place. The best way to protect yourself online is to ensure that you use the security setting feature provided by any of your platforms. Periodically, review your social media accounts, change their passwords, and review any connected plugins. If there are any that you no longer need, discontinue the plugins. Social media platforms are a great way to connect and socialize. As long as you know the risks and ways to mitigate them, your experience will be remarkable. You can find more information on safe social networking by visiting this website.