As social media becomes more and more involved with our every day lives, criminals and other people with bad intent are coming up with more creative ways to cause harm on social networking sites. With even a small bit of information you may accidentally share, one is able to find out a lot more. By following these steps, you can keep yourself much safer online while also keeping out of trouble.
1. Set Your Privacy Settings
Perhaps the most obvious, it is extremely important to set your privacy settings. The stricter, the better. Unless you want anyone and everyone reading what you say, make sure only your accepted or approved friends or followers are able to view what you have to say, not your friends of friends, or family of friends. Anyone could add any one of your friends and you may not know it, and you can’t keep your friends from accepting their request either, therefore it’s dangerous to give these people the option to see what you post.
2. Monitor What Others Post About You
No matter what you do, you can not stop what others post about you, and if they do, they can share it with whoever they please. However, most of the time this is not the case. If you see potentially personal information about yourself posted by someone else, do not hesitate to message them and ask them to remove the content immediately. They will understand.
3. Do Not Post Anything You Would Not Want Your Parents, Boss, Or The Police To See
In September, 2012, a 16 year old girl posted on Twitter that someone should assassinate Obama. It is being considered a serious threat to the well being of the president of the United States of America, and she may be charged with a horrible crime, all because of a tweet she posted, which she probably was not serious about. However, you never can tell, and it’s important never to post anything illegal online unless you want to face the consequences of your actions in the real world. It’s also important to look as responsible as you can, as your employer may request to look at your Facebook and you want to try and make the best impression that you can.
4. Do Not Give Out ANY Personal Information Whatsoever
Did you know that with very little personal information, such as as your name, general area, and phone number, people are able to run free checks online to find out other information such as your address, age, relations, and workplaces? In the wrong hands, this information can be very dangerous, and its important not to make it easily available to anyone that would want it.
5. Use Cell Phone, Not Security Question Verification For Resetting Passwords
This especially applies to social networking sites. Usually, if you know someone’s email to their login and you have them added on a social networking site such as Facebook, it’s extremely easy to get into their email which in turn allows you into their Facebook, allowing all their messages to be read. Quite often, the answers to the email security questions can be found on that person’s Facebook as they are extremely broad and information on someone’s Facebook is so dense. This is completely eliminated with a cell phone text message verification as there is no way for them to get in unless they already know the password, or they have your cell phone which generally isn’t the case.
6. Do Not Click On Any Links From Strangers
Strangers are not your friends. Strangers have no intent to share legitimate content and cool websites with you, so if they send you a link to an unknown website, its generally with bad intent. Following random links strangers send you may get a virus put on your computer, get pranked, or land on a phishing site which will attempt to trick you into giving them your login information. Should you decide to go to a website a stranger sends you, make sure it is after proper investigation.