Simple ways to stay safe on social media


The most popular social media sites can attract billions of users each and every day, a large percentage of which spend upwards of 6-8 mindlessly browsing through post after post. Though social media can be used for good, such as communicating with friends in different countries, it's often used for malicious purposes that lurk beneath the surface. Social media is rife with criminal activity, so being online is not the safe haven you originally anticipated it to be. Fortunately, there are many simple steps that you can follow to stay out of harm's way on social media, and it doesn't have to be as difficult as you might expect to get started today. So, if you're interested in learning more about how to promote safety online, then read on to uncover some of the most effective tips and tricks that you can utilize now! 

Change Your Privacy Settings

First and foremost, you must begin your journey by changing your privacy settings. Allowing your privacy settings to be controlled by the host (ie the social media platform itself), then you are allowing them to give all of your private information away. Home address, mobile phone number, job details, education and even your last known location will all be stored on your social media profile, and it's up to you to keep that information safe from unauthorized profiles! Start by setting your profile to 'private', and make sure that anyone who isn't your friend or follower is unable to see the things you post. Status updates, photos and personal information all need to be changed to 'private', but if you don't want your friends or followers to see your personal information then you can often go one step further and choose 'for my eyes only'. Once you have taken the time to update and adapt your privacy settings, you will become a much less attractive target for people looking to steal your information for malicious purposes. 

Make Use of The Block & Report Options 

Unfortunately, it's all too common to experience issues online with certain profiles that you simply can't trust. Whether this is someone you know or a totally random stranger, you cannot let them compromise your safety by still having access to your profile and posts. It's absolutely vital that you can make use of the 'block' and 'report' options that are on every social media platform, as you must take a stand against dangerous behaviour online. Consider the fact that a profile who treats you maliciously will continue to treat other users in a malicious manner unless you take the time to put a stop to their behaviour, so if ever you feel threatened or unsafe online, don't just ignore it. Figuring out how to block someone on instagram or Facebook couldn't be easier, and they won't receive any kind of notification that you have blocked them - they simply won't be able to search for you, view your profile or send you a message ever again. Reporting will flag them as a dangerous or suspicious profile to the host, potentially encouraging further investigation for unlawful behaviour, so choose wisely. 

Don't Post Private Details 

Though it can be tempting to post a photo of your new house or car, check in at a location or even post photos taken inside your bedroom, these are things that you must never do if you want to stay safe on social media. You must always aim to keep private details private - you never know who might be watching your every move, and the more that you post the more sensitive information you give away. Even your private messages can be hacked into and utilized for malicious activities, so be as vigilant as you can when using social media platforms. Avoid using location features all together if you want to stay as safe as possible, as there really is no need to update your friends and family of your every move, and you now know that many more people might be watching too. 

Staying safe and out of harm's way when using social media platforms has never been such a simple task when you can take the time to make the most of some of the brilliant tips and recommendations that have been carefully described above. The most secure option would always be deleting your social media profiles altogether, but if this isn't a feasible option for you, then the ideas above will no doubt increase your safety online more than anything else can!