3 Ways To Use Social Media Responsibly
The social dynamics of today’s tech society is complicated - we’re encouraged to be social, but not too social. Welcome to the age of social media, where we present ourselves without actually being present.
The issue always seems to boil down to using it responsibly: how can you balance the need to network, socialize, and keep in touch with your friends while still being safe online? Given that there’s a wealth of data that hackers and criminals can easily use to ruin your life if given the chance, social media seems like a modern-age Damocles sword: you never quite know when it’s going to go horribly wrong until it’s too late.
Preparedness is the answer to this issue: the ability to be aware of what you’re doing in the context of where you’re doing it. In order to protect yourself from scams, identity theft, and other assorted cybercrimes out there, you should familiarise yourself with how to keep your social media safe. Here are three tips that you should start with.
Build a strong password.
It’s common practice to have more than one social media account, or multiple accounts on the internet in general. Given the vast majority of us often use the same password for multiple accounts online, the passwords we use must be strong. Ideally, they should
- Contain both uppercase and lowercase letters
- Contain special characters
- Is not a common phrase
In particular, there are plenty of lists out there that can list down the most common passwords and how often they’re used. You should check them as frequently as you can, or at least when creating a new account on the internet.
Links are not always safe.
Another common thing that we see on social media is sharing - whether it’s links, videos, cat memes or cooking recipes. While not all of the links that we share are malicious (nor do we share them with that intent in mind), having a certain awareness of whether or not a link should be followed is one of the best defenses against viruses, scams, or data breaches.
Even just asking yourself: “does this site look legitimate? Did my friend really share something like that? Have I entered any giveaway?” can make your time on the internet significantly easier, and avoid falling into the aforementioned trouble.
Familiarize yourself with your privacy options.
Even though social media is about sharing, there are ways that you can limit who and what can be seen online. Most, if not all social media sites have powerful and flexible sharing options, allowing you to control what and who can post on your profiles.
This fulfills two purposes: one, it allows you to be in control of what represents you to the people that you choose to show it to. Two, it helps in making sure that other people can’t misrepresent you by posting or messing with your image without your consent.
Social media isn’t synonymous with selfless sharing. A certain degree of control is needed in order to be safe online - and keep your security and privacy in one piece.
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