Before social media we had over-decorated yearbooks and scrapbooks. These “pages” were filled with doodles, quotes, and song lyrics all expressing who we are as a person and what we were feeling at that specific moment in time. However, we now live in the “online world,” a place where instant gratification is the norm and access to the internet is at our fingertips. While we still have these “pages,” they are now on the internet and are essentially accessible to anyone.
The central feature of these sites is the ability to connect with people from all over the world and share information. But, because the sharing of this information is done online (and sometimes in full public view) safety issues can definitely arise.
Dangerous Characteristics of Social Media
- Anyone, anytime, anywhere can find it
- Anyone can find it today, tomorrow, and even 30 years from now
- Anyone can copy it, share it, and change it
Knowing Safety Policies and Keeping Up With Security Tips
We all know that sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter all have and enforce their own safety policies but we, the users, must also take responsibility when it comes to our safety on the web. This includes actions like creating a strong password, using two factor authentications, only friending or letting people you know in real life “follow” your account, and not being afraid to report safety concerns.
Read up on more safety tips and information for each platform:
- Be careful with your personal information. Pictures can be easily copied, distorted, and altered all at the click of a button.
- Be careful with the personal information of others. This means asking permission to tag them in photos and to share details or information pertaining to their lives.
- Know who can access your personal information. Assume that everything is public unless you are sure that it is not.
- Trust your instincts. If something does look or feel right, chances are it probably is not.
- If you find something online that you don’t like or that makes you feel uncomfortable tell an adult or someone you trust.
- Don’t post information that could be used to find you offline. For example, car registration plates, identifiable landmarks, tagging locations, etc.
- Don’t assume that everyone you meet online is who they appear to be. For example, you still need to be wary of websites that claim to connect students from the same school.
- Don’t reply to messages that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Don’t be afraid to seek guidance and ask for help!
photo from google images