How To Stay Safe on Social MediaPosted in: Cyber Safety
Parents are always monitoring your time spent on the Internet, what apps you’re using and who you’re talking to. It can get a little annoying, right? Well it turns out when they say they’re just trying to protect you, they’re telling the truth. While you just want to use Instagram to look at your friend’s pictures or make funny challenge videos on TikTok, stranger danger is just as real on the web as it is on the playground. You’re parents are always going to want to monitor what you’re doing, but there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re being as safe as possible when using forms of social media.
Set up your privacy settings
Every account you can possibly have allows you the option of setting your profile to private. For example, SnapChat has a feature that allows your followers to see you on a ‘snap map’, which gives friends your exact location. This can be especially dangerous if you don’t monitor your followers closely. The best thing to do is to turn this setting off so that your location can’t be accessed at all. Instagram allows you to set your entire profile to private so people can’t see your pictures or your stories without you accepting their request to follow you. Keeping your account on private will prevent strangers from seeing your picture or any of your information.
Once your accounts are on private, you have to manually accept all requests. Make sure that you’ve met and trust anyone who requests to follow you on social media. People can be extremely deceiving and if you’ve ever seen the show Catfish, you know that sometimes people aren’t who they’re pretending to be. To be very safe, you can even send a text to your friend after you’ve received their request, confirming that it was in fact them who sent it.
Show your parents strange messages
You should never open or respond to a direct message or even a comment if you don’t know the sender. One-on-one conversations with strangers can be extremely dangerous and should be brought to your parent’s attention immediately.
Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with people from anywhere in the world, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. If you’re lucky enough to have access to the apps, make sure you use them responsibly.