The world-wide web is a very “trending” topic these days. People use Facebook to see important life updates and reunite with friends. Twitter is used to see what close friends or “hot celebs” are doing at any given moment. Youtube is used for vlogging and posting covers of songs. But are there any risks to these Social Media web sites? Of course there are, but there are many ways to keep your virtual and “IRL” (in real life) profiles safe.
Let’s start off with the easiest, but least practical solution. Do not create any social media accounts, or delete your already existing account. Although this makes it virtually impossible to find those top-secret photos or embarrassing 7th grade statuses, in today’s society, it causes a lack of communication. Without some sort of social media, texting included, there would be a lack of information transferred from one to another. It seems no one these days know what a phone call is, or even the American Postal Service, so social media seems to be the best way of communication.
Every social media site has a way to privatize your profile, or at least it should. If it does not then you probably should not use that site. The most popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Tumblr all have ways to make your life more secret, even behind a computer screen.
Recently employers have been looking at people’s Facebook pages to see if what they post, and if they are “job material”. This means that crazy photo of you, with your friends, at the bar probably is not going to make the best first impression on them. But as I was saying there are ways to hide these embarrassing moments.
Here are some step by step ways to protect you identity while online:
1. Try going to your privacy settings while on a social media site, and personalize who can see you profile or pictures.
2. Never add people you do not know. It may sound fun at first, but they could be a fake person trying to get information on you, like a job employer, ex boy/girlfriend, or maybe even police authority.
3. Never post anything you would not say in person. And that does not always mean the vulgar things you would say anyway. Everything you say can be monitored, and can be used against you in many situations.
4. Never give out personal information like your Social Security Number, address, phone number, or even you age. People sometimes impersonate other people online, by creating fake accounts under a different persons name, like a close friend.
5. Just be mature. Maturity will take you a long way online. Do not post pictures that are somewhat “scandalous”, or a post saying how you may hate your job. Social media was invented just for what it is said to be. A site for social encounters. Be social, in a civilized manner.
Social media can be extremely fun! But you should always make sure you know what you are getting into before you jump in to far. Reading the terms and conditions might help, although they are really long. Make sure you only post things you would want everyone to know, not just your friends. And parents, adding your child on Facebook, or following them on Twitter might not be a bad idea either. Sorry kids.