Tips & Guides

How to Stay Safe on Social Media

Social Media

Being online is great. With the help of Social Media, you can stay in touch with your friends and family easily. It’s a powerful tool; so much so that it can literally impact global politics

But there’s a more fundamental, more personal reason you should be wary of: the threat of privacy breach. 

With our lives being online all the time. Through the Instagram photos, Twitter tags, Facebook statuses, and Snapchat stories, we are constantly documenting our lives. And this information is more or less available for the world to see without any hindrance. However, with a little proactive due diligence, we can easily protect ourselves from an online predator.

That’s why it’s needed to take safety measures to protect your privacy online.

Visibility

Most social media profiles give you an option to turn on/off the public visibility on your profile. It’s highly recommended that for any of the posts that include sensitive information — your current location, who are with, where are you going, what you’re buying, etc. — it’s better to turn off public visibility.

Share such private information only with people who you know personally. 

Location Settings

Most social media platforms have an option to include your current location — a.k.a “Check-in”. Because most people like to check-in as soon as they enter a place, it creates the perfect opportunity for whoever is stalking you to know exactly where you are for the next couple of hours.

It is advisable, therefore, to disable location services for social media. The best way to check-in is “after-the-fact”, i.e., check-in after you’ve reached home, or, at least, when you’re leaving from the place of visit.

Also, your iPhone will add an embedded location information into all your photos. The information photos, when you share on social media, can be utilised to all the wrong ends.

To disable your iPhone from adding location to your photos, do the following:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and click on Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Scroll down and choose Camera.
  5. Change “ALLOW LOCATION ACCESS” to Never.

Passwords

Finally, you need to set strong passwords. Every Social Media app/website out there requires you to set up a password. Now, because we use so many online services, we often end up using the same username-password combo for all of them. While it makes it easy for you to manage your passwords, it also leaves you exposed! Because if someone gets hold of one of your passwords, he has access to all of your social media profiles!

You should always create unique, abstract, and random passwords for each new site/app you sign up to.

I know it can be a real headache to try and remember all the different username-password combos for all the hundreds of sites we use on a daily basis. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a password manager app. Usually, these apps are free, but to get all the features, you’ll need to pay a nominal fee.

These apps also come with built-in password generators. So it’s going to solve two problems in one go.

The online world can be just as destructive as it’s constructive. You gotta remember that it’s your approach that determines which way the scales tilt. So please, be pro-active!

So please, be pro-active! Be safe!!

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