Over the past decade or so, social media platforms have grown in popularity and have become common-place in our lives. We can spend hours scrolling through images and content shared by friends, family, ad celebrities that we admire, but not many of us consider the safety and security of these social media apps. 

When you are using social media apps you need to consider your safety and the safety of your loved ones. This is especially true for parents and guardians of young children. Being aware of the risks of using social media is important, especially in today’s digital age where up to 160 000 Facebook accounts are being hacked on a daily basis

Keeping your information and the information about your family and friends safe is vital for using social media platforms effectively and successfully. In part one of our articles about social media awareness, we discuss some top tips for better social media awareness and safety.  


Understand Privacy And Security Settings


Privacy and security settings are in place for a reason, which means it is important that you understand them and use them effectively. Privacy settings allow you to control who sees your profile and how much information people are allowed to see. These settings can help you to have a positive social media experience and avoid negative comments, content, and interactions.

You can set your profile to be on Public or Private. If your child or teenager is using social media, it is best that they set their profile to Private so that their profile cannot be seen by simply anyone on the internet. A Private account is advisable for those in the working world too, as it limits the amount of information that can be seen by others and will maintain your professional presence and keep your information safe from prying eyes. 


Avoid Fake Accounts


One of the easiest ways for scammers and unscrupulous people to scam unsuspecting social media app users is to create fake accounts and add people as friends or followers. When it comes to fake accounts, often these scammers will create a fake celebrity or brand account in order to entice younger and less experienced social media users into accepting friend requests. 

If an account contacts you, you should be very wary and should treat any messages with caution. It is unlikely that a celebrity or brand will contact you directly, so it is best to ignore suspicious friend requests or messages. Another important issue to note is that many of these fake accounts will send messages with links in them which will lead to nefarious sites that could contain viruses or trojans. 


What Is Posted Online, Stays Online


It is highly important to remember that what is posted online will remain online for years to come, if not forever. You should try to protect not only your reputation but your safety at all costs. Always think twice about what you post online, especially when it comes to photographs of yourself, your family, and your children. 

It is important to carefully think about what you are posting and whether or not you want it to be online. When it comes to photographs, always ask permission from the people in them and always ensure that you give or deny permission to those who wish to share a photograph of you on their social media platforms. Sharing photographs of your children or the children of others is not advised, as it is extremely easy for someone to find the time, date and location of where the photo was taken. 


Keep Accounts Safe


One of the most effective ways to keep your social media account and information safe is to enable two-factor authentification. This security procedure forces users to authenticate their identity by making use of a separate device or platform and a four- to six-digit key or password. This ensures that attackers cannot easily hack into your account by simply using your username and password. 

You will also need to review what type of access social media apps have to your information. For example, some might request access to your contact information or your photograph gallery, which you should consider carefully before installing them. In terms of passwords, you should try to use long and difficult passwords, as well as make use of a password manager so that nobody else can access them. 


Always Be Aware


While you should not avoid using social media altogether, you should remain alert and aware of any suspicious behaviour on your account and the account of your children and loved ones. Start by understanding the privacy ad security settings of your social media accounts, ensuring that all information is kept private. 

Avoid interacting with fake accounts and be sure to think about everything you post online. In our second article about social media awareness, we will be discussing the apps you can use for social media security. If you would like to improve your social media marketing strategy, contact us today for more information