Technologically speaking this is a great time to be alive. The days of having to wait a month to receive a letter from your cross-cultural pen pals are gone. But with the ease and advancements of such an age it has become all too easy to become complacent about personal safety. In fact it's shocking to see what some friends disclose on sites like Facebook and Twitter, thereby setting themselves up for the possibility of untold amounts of trouble.
Have a look at these scenarios and see if any of these sound personally familiar; if so you may want to rethink your level of Social Media safety.
Comment: I'm leaving for vacation in three days and going to be gone for three weeks, can't wait!!!
Seriously? Did you actually just tell the world when you'd be leaving your home and personal possessions without guardianship?
Tweet: I'm in such-and-such parking lot, waiting for my friend. I'm the only one here!
Yes it's been done. Again, it's that false sense of security because it's online, but criminals and would-be predators are relying on such complacency. You've given your exact whereabouts, you've said you were alone, and you've doubtless also got photos of yourself posted as well.
Check-in: For Lovers lingerie boutique.
Now granted some of these security problems can help be alleviated by doing a number of things:
Also Read :
10 Tips For Safe Social Media Use
Top 5 Facebook Security Tips for Privacy and Safety
Top 10 Things You Should Never Put on Facebook
5 Tips For Using Social Media Safely
1. Go over your account and privacy settings with a fine tooth comb. From photos to comments to tags, you must be aware of who is able to access your information.
2. Be discerning when accepting "friends" and followers. A friend of a friend that you've never met who can't be bothered to post a photo of himself? Pass. Also, if the request is from someone you'd never hang with in person, why even go there? Sure, it seems friendly at the start but don't get caught up in the numbers game on your personal pages – quality, not quantity!
3. Also remember, by it's very nature the Web is a world where users can be anything and anyone they choose to be. People make up fake accounts and aliases all the time. This isn't to scare you off from the many benefits of Social Media, but you should consider this when thinking about hitting that "accept" button.
4. Be sure to retain as much control as you can with photos that other people post and identify you in. Does your page mix work and play? Either separate them by making one account for each, or accept that you may pay the price if your boss sees your friend's photo of you face-down in a margarita the night before you called in sick.
5. Finally, if you enjoy doing "check ins" at different locations throughout town at least consider posting them after you've left the location. Yes you're thrilled with those red satin wedges and want to tell the world but try to be shrewd about it. And talk with your friends and kindly ask them to stop if they have a habit of posting your location for you.
Sure, many of these tips seem like simple rules for safety but in the happy and "social" world of the Web it is very easy to forget that the open nature of the medium can very easily be used against you. So still enjoy the fun you can have with Social Media, but also be sure to bring your street smarts to playing field.