Social Media Safety

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Social Media safety begins with privacy settings, sharing information wisely and recognizing potential social media scams.

Social media is like a bustling global town square where people from all walks of life come together to share, connect, and explore. However, with its wide reach and accessibility, it can also become an avenue for miscreants to exploit unsuspecting users. So how do we continue to enjoy the benefits of social media while being mindful of our privacy and security? Social media safety.

The journey to online safety begins with a tour of your social media privacy settings. These are your personal guardrails that determine how much of your life is visible to others. But these guardrails can often be intricate and confusing, with each social media platform having its own set of privacy configurations. The trick is to treat them like a Rubik’s cube. With a little patience and understanding, you can align them to create a safe and personalized social media experience. Make it a habit to review and update these settings regularly, as platforms may change their policies or add new features.

When it comes to sharing information online, the golden rule is: think before you post. Consider the nature and sensitivity of the information you’re about to share. Does it reveal too much about your personal life, like your address or your daily routine? Could it potentially harm your reputation or future opportunities if viewed out of context? The internet has a long memory, and a hastily posted photograph or comment can echo for a long time.

As much as social media connects us, it can also make us targets of scams. One of the common types is the “friend in distress” scam, where a cybercriminal hacks a friend’s account and sends you a message asking for financial help. According to the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report, over 15,000 people fell victim to such social media scams, leading to a total loss of over $29 million (1).

So how do we steer clear of such scams? Be alert and verify before you trust. If a message seems out of character for the sender or creates a sense of urgency, reach out to your friend through another channel to confirm the situation. Regularly check the security and login activity of your account to ensure it hasn’t been compromised.

Navigating the dynamic landscape of social media can be challenging, but with a little prudence and proactive measures, we can stay connected while staying safe.


(1) FBI. “2020 Internet Crime Report.” FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, 2020.

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