Social media is a part of every human’s life these days. From waking up to sleep at night, from posting pictures with friends and sharing the location of favorite places in stories and tweets, we can never be apart from social media platforms. But the real question is, how safe are we on social networking sites?
Social media has emerged as a significant contributor to various cyber-crimes throughout the world. While we think online platforms are risk-free and safe, there are so many ways that a person can threaten or question your safety in the social media space.
Let us now know tips that will help you stay safe on social media platforms:
- Manage your private settings:
Keep your privacy settings up-to-date. Enabling a private setting will limit your pictures and posts to only share among your friends and contacts. Always check your privacy settings for changes. Turn off your location in different apps installed on your mobile phone.
In a growing world like ours, we take a step towards technological and digital changes every day. Every other person has a mobile phone and internet access, and you cannot possibly know every person’s intention on social networking sites. It is necessary to draw the line for your privacy and safety.
- Use different passwords for different accounts:
Most people use the same password for different accounts. It’s unsafe to use one password for multiple social networking sites. Any person trying to hack your account can easily do it if you use only a single password and do not change it once in a while. Regularly change the password using letters, numbers, and symbols for every single account. Use your creativity to set a unique password for your social media accounts.
- Do not befriend everyone:
Meeting new people might be fun, but also dangerous. Accepting every friend and following requests will make you lose control over your privacy. Social media is filled with online predators, so be careful to whom you friend and share your personal information.
Restrict your account to people you know, friends, family, acquaintances, and colleagues physically- to establish a safe and secure place in social media.
- Never connect to free or public hotspots/ Wi-Fis:
When you connect to free Wi-Fi’s or public hotspot, any hacker around can access your data in a couple of minutes. They can change your system and application settings, turn on your location sharing, track your way down and misuse your data. Always use a VPN while connecting to any local hotspots to safeguard your data.
These public hotspots can be anywhere- coffeehouses, bars, restaurants, etc.- so do not trust any place just for free internet access. In emergencies, use a VPN.
- Delete any old accounts if not used:
Your old account might have most of your personal information that can be used against you. If you have an old account with pictures or any other data, clear them or better delete the account if you do not use it. Do not risk your data just for the sake of having multiple accounts.
If a person stumbles upon your old account, there is a chance of identity theft. It means that the person can use your name and photo to create another account, follow whomever you follow and act as an imposter. The data you post can be used against you. Be careful about your old accounts and the information posted on them.
- Choose wisely when you post:
It is fun to post pictures and share the location of where the photo was clicked. Any stranger in your account can use this as a chance to stalk you or rob your house when you’re outside hanging out with your friends. Be cautious when you post personal information online.
Never share your security passwords or any other passwords that help in the identification of you by various websites and accounts.
- Install firewall and anti-virus software
You can block potential threats by installing an anti-virus solution. An online predator can hack your computer or mobile just by sending spam mail to your email address. If you accidentally open it, the virus can potentially attack your electronic gadget. To ensure this never happens, always update your software and scan all the files and folders saved on your computer/laptop.
- Be aware of external links and pop-ups:
When you’re using any search engine or checking out a website on a browser, there will be many pop-up websites, and sometimes you’ll be shifted to another website. These unwanted websites have attractive offers or lure you into opening any other external links given on that page. Be aware of that! Block pop-up ads and immediately close that website that had open while you were surfing through another website.
- Keep an eye on default settings:
After installing any app or creating an account on any social networking site, people skip checking the default settings of a particular application. It is necessary to restrict who can see your posts and when you are online. Specific privacy and security changes in default settings are required and to be checked once in a while, to keep a tab on the unnecessary changes.
You can restrict your account by not sharing your phone number or location by changing your default settings. You never know what information has been public all this while because you didn’t check default settings on any app. Be careful while posting personal information online.
- Be creative with your usernames:
Using your name might sound as usual and common, but we can easily search up your account. Stay anonymous while using social networking sites by using different words as your username. A little creativity won’t harm your social status.
While social media has more benefits than its limitations, it is always better to be safe and protected. Usage of social media space wisely can minimize the possibility of problems. It is essential to practice safety measures even if the percentage of risk is less. Stay safe and happy!