Social Media Safety

2020-09-11

Social Media SafetyThese days, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when many work and school remotely, much of our lives is spent online. And social media is not just for young people anymore, different platforms have become the norm for all ages. Sure, it has its perks, such as catching up with people whom you might not otherwise get to visit with, but it can also be harmful if not used properly. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself online, plus a few tips specifically for teens.

Google it: Let's be honest, not many people actually read the privacy policies before signing up for a popular social media service. But somebody has! And even more people have already tried and figured out many of the downsides of any social media tool you're considering using. So before you sign up for a new social media account, take advantage of that knowledge by Googling the "dangers of," "privacy concerns of," or "things you should know before signing up for."

Use privacy controls: You may or may not be comfortable allowing just anyone to follow your account. But regardless of what you choose, make sure you understand what privacy settings are available to you on any platform you sign up for. Then, use those controls wisely to regulate who can see your information, how they can respond, and how they intend to use your information.

Learn how to block, mute and report: If someone is harassing you or posting inappropriate content, don't engage. Make sure you know how to take action to block anyone who crosses a boundary, and how to report them to the site or service if their behavior violates the user agreement.

Be cautious about sharing data: Any personally identifying information you share online can be "stolen" by hackers and used for nefarious purposes. Use caution when sharing things like your birthday, phone number, credit card or social security number. Don't save your credit card number to websites, and anonymize your information when possible.

Use a password manager: A password manager can help you create rock solid passwords that are less likely to be discovered or stolen by others. Even better, it will remember the passwords for you!

Teen Social Media Safety:

Teenagers can be especially vulnerable to the dangers of social media. Here are a few tips on social media safety to share with your teenagers:

Manage your followers: Limit your followers to people you actually know and have a relationship with in real life.

Post with your future in mind: Keeping your account private or tightly controlled on any platform is a great idea, and will probably save you a lot of heartache in the long run. But we all know that it's easy for others to screenshot anything you put online. Many colleges and employers these days look at applicants' social media to find out what kind of person they are. So anything you post could come back to haunt you. Remember, the best way to keep something private is not to post it at all.

Share with a trusted adult: For today's teenagers, life online is real life. So if you're being bullied, harassed, or solicited online, don't keep it to yourself. Enlist the help of a trusted adult for support and to help you solve any conflicts or scary situations you get into online.

For any of your insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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