Raise your hands if turning on your data connection is one of the first things you do in the morning. I’m sure if we took a census, 95% of people reading this put up their hands. It’s not surprising, social media has become an integral part of our lives and society generally. From tweeps to Insta-fam and all the rest, it’s almost like the entire world is one large extended family. And what happy family doesn’t greet each other when they wake?
Really, what’s not to love? We’ve retweeted our ways out of potentially sticky situations, started global movements for social justice, created businesses and different amazing stuff on social media. It’s the one place where anybody could join and really be free to say their minds. Where else would we get our daily dose of funny stuff, keep up with the latest gist and trends and hopefully find our future spouses (for those of us who don’t go out)? Social media is amazing. I love it, you love it, we all love it.
However, with all the freedom available on social media, one question begs to be asked; How much is too much? There’s almost no limit to the amount of posts one person can make, neither are there guidelines on what to post, only a few don’ts here and there. Where do we draw the line on what’s OK and what’s over the top?
Social media, amazing as it is has a few negative parts. From online scamming or social engineering, to malware, phishing, damaged reputation, cyber-bullying, trolling, there’s a lot to be careful about when using the internet.
So, how do you strike the balance? What should be posted and what should be kept aside? Here’s a few tips to stay safe in all this social media frenzy:
Don’t flaunt all your good stuff.
Flaunting is almost a social media culture. From breakfast plates to dresses and cars and mansions. It’s almost like you aren’t networking right if you don’t show how much you ball. But, that’s a bad move. A lot of people have been victims to robbers who carefully watch what you flaunt, then attack. You never know who’s watching, what they are planning and how it could affect you. Be on the safe side, don’t flaunt everything.
Carelessly using location services.
While one of the selling points of using location tracking on social media or online services is the fact that they make things more accessible to you, very few people consider the risks. Ignoring the fact that some unscrupulous service providers can sell the data. It is worth noting that having social media sites publicly display your location can threaten your security. You could be tracked, kidnapped and experience a whole lot of other horrors.
Do not reveal too much information.
If you are not familiar with the term “social engineering,” then you should be familiar with G or internet scams. It basically involves people trying to manipulate you to reveal confidential information. They then use this information to access services and systems you would never have authorized them to access.
Social media makes it much easier to fall victim to social engineering attacks. Keep personal info personal. Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking or even steal your identity for dubious purposes. It becomes extremely easy to piece together information that can be used against you.
Protect your reputation on social networks.
What you post online stays online. The internet never, NEVER, forgets. Remember the girl who got an internship at NASA? She used foul language and almost lost the internship, learn from her. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. Recent research found that 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online. Your online reputation can be a good thing. Recent research also found that recruiters respond to a strong, positive personal brand online. So show your smart side, thoughtfulness, and mastery of the environment.
Your digital footprint says a lot about you, so before you jump in on that thread or post that sultry selfie, think. Think first and think smart. If it doesn’t feel comfortable, throw it out, if it could potentially harm you or someone else, do not post it. These seemingly little things matter a whole lot. It’s never just social media. And it can never be “louded” enough, the fact that THE INTERNET NEVER FORGETS!!
Social media is beautiful, just like Australia, complete with the wild animals. It’s a jungle out there. Don’t succumb to the pressure, don’t do it for the likes and retweets. Share smart, stay safe. Sending all the peace and love your way.