We all are familiar and well aware of the power of the internet and how it can help us to gather information and connect with people from all around the world. While this can be used to our advantage and benefit, we must consider how it could also be used against us. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram, as fun as they are, can make you susceptible if you don’t use it carefully. Even one unintentional and careless mistake can do a lot of harm.
Here Are the 10 Types of Mistakes You Should Avoid on Social Media for Your Digital Safety:
1. Making Everything Public
Everyone loves attention, but it’s not smart to make everything available to the public eye when it comes to social media. We often overlook a very important step of changing the privacy settings when we set up our social media accounts. The default for many platforms is to make your account as open to the public as possible. This is not what you want. The less private your account, the easier it is for people to stalk you. To avoid this and more serious dangers, make your account private so that only your close friends and family have access to your posts.
2. Sending Your Location
Geotagging is great. It allows you to let people know which foreign country you’re in, or which restaurant you’re having dinner at. But if you insist on adding your location to your post, it would be safer to wait until after you’ve left the specified location before it goes public. Similarly, when checking in to a place on Facebook, it’s best to do it just before, or after you leave the spot. That way you can still share your whereabouts without putting yourself at risk.
3. Posting Too Much Online
Even if you have your accounts set to private, and only add people you know personally, it’s always better to not give too much away online. Remember, what once goes on the internet will become permanent there. There may still be hackers out there who would be able to get access to your private posts and information. Avoid giving away personal details, this sort of information online puts you at risk of identity theft and, in the wrong hands, could even be used to hack your personal or banking account.
Bullying someone over texts or even passing negative, hateful and inappropriate comments over the internet is not only dangerous but can also put you behind bars. Spread peace and love, not hate. Don’t try to defame someone or bring them down.
It affects both the bully and the victim.
5. Uncensored Pictures
It may seem harmless to post a picture of your boarding pass at the airport, or of a postcard or special package that arrived in the mail for you. But be aware that these things show your personal information such as your name and address that should not be shared with the public. For obvious reasons, you should avoid posting any pictures of your ATM card, driving licence, or student ID. You’d be surprised how many people do it. We understand you may be excited about passing your driving test or that you got into your dream university. But, if you must post a celebratory picture, make sure your personal information is hidden or unreadable.
6. Falling for Click baits
Carelessly clicking dangerous links leads you to click baits, which is a site which tries to sell you something or possibly extort you, by withholding the promised “bait”. This is everywhere on the internet today, so surf safe and avoid opening links unnecessarily just for fun or attraction. They’re fake and fraud so you better don’t fall for them to avoid any loss.
7. Spreading Fake News
When breaking news hits, the first instinct for many is to run to social media for more information. What we find there isn’t always accurate, unfortunately, and it’s all too easy to accidentally spread false narratives to our followers and friends. Research and check pictures on google search or just know about the source before sharing anything that might put you in a problem later on.
8. Making Friends Without Thinking Twice
It has become a trend and a form of competition to have more friends or followers but think twice before you add someone that you don’t know, because they may not have the right intentions. Maybe you met this person at a party once, or perhaps you went to kindergarten together, or hey, you may have never seen this person in your life, but you have three mutual friends! – does that mean they should be allowed to see everything you’ve been up to?
9. Trusting People and Companies Without Background Research
It is always advisable to do a background check of the person or company that you’re dealing with online. Scams and frauds are common these days and the best you can do is avoid such interaction, or not give away personal or confidential information, just know in detail about the person/company and make sure it is genuine, not fake.
10. Spending Too Much Time Online
If you’re spending too much time online instead of living in the moment and enjoying your life with your real-life friends and family, this is a sign that it will harm you badly in the long term and affect your relationships and health. Validation from the outside world is not as important as living your life the way you are and to the fullest.