Whether you are a business owner or not, you need to do all that you can to stay safe on social media. Social media is a wonderful addition to our current daily lives, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take measures to stay safe. Everything that you put out there is saved – even if you delete it from your profile, someone will always have a copy of it. We use social media as readily as we do our toothbrushes, so it makes sense that we would want to keep our information safe.
Online safety should be a part of mainstream education these days. Identity theft is a huge problem, and our information isn’t as safe as we thought. Plenty of business owners have been caught out by posts that they made before they were relevant and it’s these posts that can drive people away. You can learn how to create a second Instagram account to remain private just for your friends and family, but your information is still out there for all to see. Everything you post can be used against you and while that’s a sad state of affairs, it’s vital to be aware of how your information is used. There is a big tradeoff between the convenience of social media and the privacy you want to achieve and that means that you need to be aware of your own personal safety online. So, with this in mind, here are some of the best ways that you can stay safe on social media.
Always keep your antivirus software up to date. You need to block potential threats to your information, and the best way to go about this is to make sure that your computer is covered in the first place.
Avoid using any public WIFI connections if you can. Coffee shops and public arenas with a WIFI login are not safe and they’re not encrypted. So, if you log in with your banking details, someone somewhere is going to know about it and can pull that information from you.
Always type an address into the search bar rather than click links – unless they’re trusted, of course. You need to avoid phishing attacks and these often come in the form of links in your email.
Don’t share your passwords with anyone, even people you trust. Log in for them if you must, but never share passwords. It’s a bad idea to share anything that you don’t want being interrupted.
Don’t use any social media at work. You need to keep your social media life separate from your working life. You can have a working account for Instagram, but anything personal needs to be just yours and a second account is a good way to remain safe.
Check your settings online and make sure that your posts are encrypted. You should ensure that you are protected as much as possible. Encrypting your posts is a tool that a lot of social media sites use for protection.
Watch your mouth – or fingers? Either way, whatever you say on social media can and will come back to bite you and we cannot stress this enough. It’s marketing 101 – even if it’s personal marketing. If you want to make sure that you are seen as a good person online, make sure that you’re not putting anything out there that you cannot take back.
Make up a master list of passwords and don’t ever use the same password twice. If you do, you are weakening the strength of your passwords in general. Keep this list somewhere safe that others cannot access.
Never accept friend requests from people that you don’t know. While it’s nice to make new friends, it’s never nice to accept a request from a stranger who then uses your information in a negative way.
It’s important to check out what’s posted about you online, so every now and then it’s a good idea to Google yourself. Every now and then, check out what’s found on search engines about you so that you can make the best possible decisions about your posting going forward.
Where possible, go Incognito. Users are tracked with every website they use even when they leave social media. Going incognito prevents you from being tracked. The more we search online, the more the cookies find us!
Social media is great, but it has the potential to go very wrong very quickly. Take the time to protect yourself and don’t be blind to the dangers.
This is a collaborative post.