10 important facts and tips about social media safety
Make sure you're safe in your online social space
Be cautious of predators: Don’t post revealing photos, updates, or content that would make you a target of sexual predators and other criminals. And never share information that could endanger yourself or your possessions – such as details of your physical locations, your daily schedule, dates when you’ll be going on holiday, and what security precautions you’re taking.
Know who your friends are – it is unwise to make friends with complete strangers on social media sites like Facebook as you can never be sure what their motives are.
Always beware of posting your location. Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook all have location settings (these can be turned off on Facebook and Twitter). These location settings can show your exact location to within a few metres. Especially don’t check in on social media when you’re by yourself and/or in a remote location.
Beware of what you share. Sharing your cellphone number and address online are risky things to do – you can control who sees what on your profile, and you should limit who sees your information.
Know how to use the security settings on all the sites you have accounts on. It may seem like a drag, but it could save your life. Make sure strangers can’t harvest your details and use them against you.
Assume the world is watching is watching you. If you don’t want domething widely broadcast, don’t post it. Regardless of your privacy settings, some people may still be able to access content you’ve restricted.
Everything that gets on the web, stays on the web. Be it in caches, cookies or saved as a screenshot to someone else’s computer, once you post something, consider it permanently published, even if you delete it.
Protect personal information. Never reveal sensitive personal information like your bank details. Also never share the passwords you use, or information that could give clues to your passwords – such as your pet’s name or date of birth. Never betray the confidentiality of others who have shared information with you.
Assume your mother and your boss are reading what you post: Things you write or show can come back to haunt you, so be careful of what you say. Don’t share photographs of yourself in compromising positions, and never post extreme views related to race, religion, or politics. Also, don’t publically air complaints or extreme views relating to your academic or professional career – such as your institution, job tasks, employer, employees, colleagues, rivals, or anyone in your professional life. If you’re particularly emotional, first take some time to settle down, and then post only if you’re sure that there won’t be negative repercussions later on.
Beware of clickjacking on social media: Clickjacking is the practice of sending an enticing email or tweet that contains a hyperlinked URL which when clicked on takes you to a site that either prompts you to log in or dumps a virus as you land on it. Often Twitter accounts that have been hijacked (hacked) start sending out the clickjacking messages to their followers. The best thing to do if you fall prey to clickjacking is to change your password and make sure it is a strong one.