Photo credits to Magnus Mueller on Pexels
Social media has made its way into everyone’s lives, big or small. It’s convenient, efficient, and sometimes even fun! The usage of social media has only increased as the years go by, as new platforms come about with faster ways of absorbing media. As humans, we thrive off of social interaction with others, and social media allows us to regularly interact with friends, family, and strangers. It also distracts us from the responsibilities and worries of life. However, with great power comes great responsibility. While social media can be a useful and enjoyable tool, it can also be dangerous and harmful, especially to minors. If your kids are interested in social media, it may be best to supervise what they consume or advise them on ways to stay safe. The world can be dangerous, but it isn’t realistic to just ban social media from them because it’s a way of modern life! Instead, ensure you and your child are using it in a healthy, productive, and most importantly, safe way. Here are some tips on staying safe:
Keep your personal profile private! That way only people you let follow you can see your posts, instead of anyone and everyone. I would recommend doing this for teenagers especially because you never know who could wander on their account.
Include the least amount of personal information possible and avoid including your location. Multiple social media sites will have designated areas on your profile to provide information about you, such as: where you work, where you went to school, your hometown, ect. Unless you are using an app for professional reasons, avoid including information that will allow people to know your location. Dangerous people can find you easier the more information you include of your geological location. If you or your child makes videos, never film the front of your house or anywhere that will include your address!
Avoid using geolocation. Your location is not necessary for social media use. If you want to tag your location, make sure you have left before posting to avoid anyone from showing up unwantedly. Luckily, you can change location settings anytime with apps and websites!
Knowing how to block people, filtering content, and reporting harassment or harmful content is important to make sure your kid is having a safe experience online. Blocking people allows people to no longer communicate with you or see your content. Don’t be afraid to block people, it is better to be safe than sorry. When it comes to internet safety, being strict with your boundaries is crucial. Most social media sites have the ability to use an explicit content filter, so any content with explicit content will not be shown or promoted. Along with blocking and filtering, you are able to report accounts and posts if it is harmful or suspicious.
Make sure what you post will not be regrettable. We often believe that if we delete something, it is gone forever, but that is not always the case! Your digital footprint will forever linger, so take a second before posting to make sure it is something you are okay with other people consuming, and that it is safe and healthy for you to share. One post can make all the difference, so handle it with care.
Avoid Access to Hackers:
Verify your account using a phone number or email address to be able to change your password from suspicious activity. If your social media account uses two-factor authentication, that is a wonderful way to ensure nothing suspicious happens to your account. Another way to avoid hacking is to change your password every once in a while. Most people, like me, tend to use the same few passwords for everything, which makes it easier for hackers to guess your password. Changing your password will make it safer from unauthorized access. Make sure you use a strong password with capital letters and special characters.
Staying safe is essential to making your social media experience healthy for you and others. Kids online are subjected to behaviors from others that can be harmful to themselves, so it is the responsibility of the caregiver to be able to provide them that safety. Use these tips for you and your families social media websites, especially for personal accounts! It isn’t necessary to include everything about you online for others to see and gain access too, so be weary of what you share with the world. Social media is supposed to be useful and fun, so let’s keep it that way!