5 ways to stay safe on Social Media

As with most things in life, Social Media can be used for the good and unfortunately, the bad too. With updates occurring on a weekly basis across all Social Media platforms, it becomes very tricky to keep up with who can see what, when, how and why! 300 Million photos are uploaded per day on Facebook! (Source: Gizmodo) Combine that with another frightening stat we looked at: There are 83 Million fake Facebook profiles (Source: CNN)  That is a large number of fake users exposed to a massive number of visual data. So allow us to help you go through some of the basics.

  1. You can’t choose your family…


Facebook is a great way to stay in touch and share good news with friends and family who live abroad! However,  it’s probably worth your while to Invest 10 minutes of your time every month and go through your friends list, be brutal! Let’s face it, there’s that one guy who you met 7 years ago while chatting with a mutual friend at a college party. The photographer came up and snapped a pic of all three of you, the day after you were all tagged and subsequently added each other on Facebook too. Since then you haven’t seen or heard from each other once, yet he is still there in your Facebook friends list.

2.  Change Gears regularly.

settings gear2

You are not driving an automatic, there’s a gear box, use it! That little tool in the corner is where all the nitty gritty of your profile is stored. Make sure to pop in regularly (at least once a week) to check your privacy settings. On Instagram, you can choose whether you have a public or private account. Suggestion, “private” for teens below 16 years so that they can then recognize that they know the followers before accepting them. There are also a few other settings that can be put in place to block specific people from seeing certain content. The same is true on Facebook, you can select between “Public,” Friends, Friends except for acquaintances and Only Me.” There are also more advanced filter settings on Facebook, Contact Me to learn more. Snapchat allows you to choose between “Everyone, My Friends, and Custom,” which then allows you to block specific people from seeing your “Snapchat Story.”

3. Location, Location, Location!


Unless you are raking in millions, in the Real Estate industry, not everyone needs to know your exact location all the time. Sure, it’s always fun and exciting to go someplace new and you want all your friends to see and vicariously share the experience. Tag a general location so that people can see where you are, but not necessarily your exact location. Eg: Instead of tagging 5th Avenue, Manhattan you can simply tag, New York. That way your whereabouts are visible but much harder to trace. If you are posting a picture from home, avoid tagging location at all.

4. Timing is everything!


“The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Willie Nelson is somewhat prophetic when it comes to applying that to Social Media. Allow me to set the scene. You’re at a function that everyone’s been talking about for months! Super eager to get that tweet, snap or update out about the event, and share it with the world. Think before you ink ‘proverbially speaking.’  You will be drowned out by everyone else busy uploading their update at the event, and also makes others aware that you are not at home and potentially won’t be for a while. (Remember, don’t post location when uploading content from home) By saving your post for later you firstly, allow yourself to socialize in the authentic sense of the word and secondly, you can utilize the prime time to post later, whenever that is, in your respective part of the world. Finally, it gives you time to select highlights of the event and avoid being ‘that guy/girl’ with successive posts should something BIG happen after you have already posted.

5. Communication is Key.


While we may enjoy our Social Media, tag friends in memes, share funny videos with family and more. It is even more important to be aware of what discussion is taking place outside of Social Media. You may feel in control of your privacy and account settings but that does not necessarily mean you are safe. Unfortunately many of us today spend too much time on our mobile devices keeping up with the Kardashians or your best friends’ cousin for that matter, but in the meantime, birthday candles have been blown out, your child has taken its first steps and your coffee has gone cold. Always be aware of what needs to happen around you before indulging in your Social Media session, talk to your parents, children, siblings, and friends, see what they need help with how they are doing. I recommend downloading an app that monitors how much time you spend on different apps and just pop in once a while to see how much time you are actually spending on Instagram, Snapchat or the father of them all… MSN 😉 Life exists beyond the like.

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