Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer a great way to connect with friends, family and even to meet new acquaintances.
However, we can’t ignore that they can be a source of danger, especially to minors. Some risks include:
Invasion of privacy
Access to inappropriate or offensive content
Exposure to unsavoury characters like paedophiles or scammers
It's no wonder that 84% of parents worry about their children's safety on these networks.
However, what if we told you that your child could use social media safely and avoid its potential dangers?
How to Use Social Media Safely
There are several easy ways to mitigate social media risks:
Utilise Privacy Settings
Privacy settings are a powerful weapon to keep you in a safe zone. All social media platforms have this feature, which allows you to tweak your settings to choose who can see your :
Never Share Personally Identifiable Information
Never share too much about yourself. People with ill intentions could start piecing the information together, and you never know what they could do with it. Some might decide to stalk, scam, or steal your identity, among other things.
Things you could avoid sharing with the public are:
The street you live in
Where you go to school
Phone number (lock this from the public)
Report Fake Accounts, Offensive or Inappropriate Content
Let’s imagine this scenario.
You added your friend ‘Kyle’ to your friend list years ago. Then one day, you get a friend request from them.
Although people sometimes delete their accounts and rejoin social media later, it could be best to take your time before adding this new ‘Kyle’. This could be a fake account pretending to be them in order to gain access to you.
Instead, call or email your friend to ascertain that it's them. If it's not them, report the account, and your social media platform will delete it.
Also, ensure you report any disturbing, harmful or inappropriate content (extremism, porn, racial hate, etc.). Although social media platforms have departments that monitor this, sometimes it slips through the net and makes its way to the public.
Use Step-2 Verification
2-factor authentication is also known as login verification or 2SV. It helps social media systems establish that you're the account's rightful owner.
Think of it as a CCTV camera that lets you see if whoever is buzzing your door is someone you know before you let them into your house.
You can add your phone number or email to your login information, to which only you have access. Your social platform will send a code (a simple set of numbers) whenever anyone tries to log in, purporting to be you. This will lock out hackers attempting to access your account, even if they’ve somehow managed to hack your password.
Ready to Start Using Social Media Safely?
As you can see, it is very easy to avoid danger when using social media. Use readily available safety and privacy settings to lock out unwanted connections, prying eyes, or anyone with bad intentions.
Also, make sure to report inappropriate or offensive content and fake accounts so your social media platform can clean them out. In addition to this, don’t over share, as anyone could use this information to build a profile that may appear to be yours.