Our guide to staying safe on social media

Social media can be an amazing place where you can reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with family, find new hobbies and more, but it can also be dangerous.

Our resident social media expert, Emma, has put together a guide on how you can stay safe when navigating these social platforms.

Don’t overshare

It’s always fun to share what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with on your social media so that all your friends can see. Some of us even like the share what we’re doing with the whole world! Though this can be rewarding, it can also be dangerous. When sharing posts make sure you don’t expose any personal information like your address, credit card or holiday dates.

Check who can see your content

Make sure to check whether or not your profile is public or private. By making your profile private, only people who you approve to follow you can see what you’re up to.

Blocking keywords

Most social media platforms, like Instagram, now have an option to hide posts with certain words from your timeline. If you have children on social media, or you want to keep your own content PG, you can go into Settings and privacy on your Instagram account – Suggested contentSpecific words and phrases. Once here, you can add terms like ‘sex’, ‘onlyfans, ’ and ‘violence’, and Instagram will block any posts like this from appearing on your timeline.

Have a strong password

It can be tempting to have the same easy-to-remember passwords for all your accounts, but this can be hazardous. Many of us choose passwords after our pets, maiden names, favourite foods, or even the word ‘password’. These kinds of passwords are super easy for hackers to guess, especially since we often tend to share very important moments of our lives on social media. By using a password generator, you can easily create unique passwords that won’t be easy to hack. Make sure you store any passwords in a safe place and don’t simply write them on a post-it note beside your computer.

Be careful about who you talk to

Social media is a great place to make new friends, though you never truly know who you’re talking to. Never give out any personal information, and be careful if you decide to meet this person in real life. Always meet in a public place.

Watch out for scams

Unfortunately, social media is full of scammers who just want your bank account details. Never give your bank account details to anyone online, no matter who they say they are. Make sure not to click any random links, and don’t share your login information with anyone. If you see an ad for something you want to buy, exit social media and search for that company’s official website on Google. Sometimes, people will make very convincing social media profiles that look like the real company!

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