Staying Safe On Social Media

In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the total number of people utilizing social media platforms, as well as an increase in the average time spent online each day. Though social media does have many selling points and benefits, there are an equal number of risks and potential dangers that lurk on popular platforms that you must make an effort to avoid. Luckily, learning how to stay safe on social media doesn't have to be as difficult as you might expect, as there are several key tips and tricks that you can make the most of to maintain total security online. So, if you would like to find out more, then simply read on!

Never Share Personal Information
One of the most important things that you must bear in mind when using social media is to never share any personal information, even with those that you know and trust. Once you post something online, it's there for all to see – posting your home address, mobile phone number, bank details or any other sensitive data could put you in harm's way. Many criminals use social media platforms to find targets for things like identity theft and other fraudulent activities, so you must not put yourself at risk of falling victim to such a crime. Don't add geotags or locations to your account or posts, and try to remain as anonymous as possible. Though some social media sites ask that you fill in details such as your workplace and past education, you do not have to add these details and can simply skip past these steps. If anyone ever messages you to ask for your personal information, utilize the report system to ensure that the platform can be alerted about any potential criminal activity.  

Keep Your Profiles Private
Each social media platform maintains its own specific privacy settings, but each should come with the option to make your profile as private as possible to ensure that those who are not your friends or followers cannot see anything that you post. Keeping all of your social media profiles private will ensure that you can vet every person that requests to see your page, giving you the opportunity to approve certain profiles that you know and reject those that you don't. Having a private account will also mean that no one can send you a message without your consent, so you can deny and accept requests yourself rather than automatically receiving everything that is sent your way. Failing to keep your profiles private may mean that even those without a social media account can view the photos and content that you post, and this can be detrimental to your safety. If you find that you receive repeat friend or follow requests from certain profiles, you can take an extra step to block them. Blocking a profile will mean that they cannot even find your profile in the search bar, and they will not be able to interact with you as a result. There are ways of finding out how to know if someone blocked you on instagram, but you still won't be able to send them a message or request to connect. 

Post ‘Smart' Photos 
Making an effort to post photos that do not give anything away can benefit your safety dramatically online, as making the mistake of accidentally showcasing your home or car to the world could make you the target of theft or worse. Unfortunately though the threat may be obvious, many people decide to post photographs holding their house keys after a recent purchase – criminals can easily create key copies and locate your home from such a picture, so this is an extremely dangerous act that you must aim to avoid. If you post a picture that includes your car, always make an effort to blur or cover up your number plate beforehand. Never include the exterior of your home in any photos that you post, as repeat posting of the same location will prove that this is your home address where you spend most of your time. It's a good idea to avoid posting any vacation pictures until you arrive home from your trip, as regularly showing your friends and followers that you aren't at home could put your property in danger of being targeted by thieves. 

Staying safe on social media has never been so simple when you can take the time to make the most of the brilliant tips and tricks that have been carefully described above. 

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