When you use any social media platform, it is very important to understand the level of safety your information needs before you share it. Ideally, you shouldn’t really be sharing anything that could potentially cause a security risk, but we don’t always have a choice with our paperless society and need to stay vigilant with whom and when we share our information.

 

Social media platforms, in particular, seem to be a place of false security for people who share information more freely than they think for eg: “Take this quiz to see how many children you will have!” – did you know that these types of games and quizzes have strict terms and conditions and usually access your personal information?

 

So, how can I be safer on social media you ask? Educate, educate, educate! Start your safety journey by understanding each social media platform you use and their commitment to help users remain safe on their platform:

 

Facebook:

 

If you have a problem on Facebook, you have the option of using the quick help feature found on your profile marked by a “?” in the top right hand of your screen, next to where your notifications pop up. Here you will find some general features people will need help with such as “How can I make sure I don’t lose access to my account”, “What can I do to keep my account secure?”, “How do I change or reset my Facebook password?”, and “What is two step authentication and how does it work?”. There is also a search option in this area where you can ask for help.

 

Facebook themselves have also created a document called “How can I stay safe on Facebook and what safety resources are available to me?” which would be a wonderful read to familiarise yourself with the resources available from the platform.

 

Instagram:

 

Instagram also have their own help centre and it was quite easy to find a resource when searching for one on Google. They also have a document that assists with “Tips for staying safe on Instagram”. With links on how to unfollow and block undesirable individuals, or report pictures or comments, you feel violate the Instagram Community Guidelines. Please remember though these guidelines are set there for serious violations and not for personal vendettas, don’t report someone’s post because you don’t like the way they are doing better than you. This is also bullying.

 

Twitter:

 

Twitter’s safety and security page is clearly designed to make you feel like they mean business about safety, and they should. Here is their link for some useful Twitter Safety and Security.

 

Google:

 

Google has a treasure trove of information as you could expect from the search engine. A wonderful link on how to keep your information safe though would be the following “Make your account more secure” – here you will be shown about malware checks, account recovery options, enrolling in two step verifications, and how to use stronger passwords.

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your online safety reach out to us in the comments below or by emailing info@phambano.org.za so that we may assist you.

 

AUTHOR: JEANNE HENDERSON

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