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25 / 10 / 19

The Positive Side of Social Media and How to Use it Safely

In the midst of recent issues such as privacy and election rigging, social media has received some fairly heavy negative press. This is in no way unjustified. However, it’s worth remembering the positive side of social media once in a while.

Through the use of the host of online networking sites available today, it’s possible to benefit from a whole list of upsides.

Social media allows us to keep in touch with loved ones, meet new people, foster relationships, grow a business or even find a job.

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Of the nearly 8 billion people in the world, nearly 3 billion people are active on social media as of 2019, creating a massive online community.

It’s undeniable that social media has revolutionised the way in which a huge portion of the world’s population communicates, but there are also a few key steps which can be followed to help prevent you falling foul of the downsides.

Staying safe on social media

  • Make proper use of the given site’s security and privacy settings to ensure you know who has access to what
  • Think before you post – once it’s out there it’s potentially out there forever
  • Consider how much personal information you provide on social media profiles, e.g. is it really necessary for Facebook to know your address? Or will a more generalised location suffice?
  • Be careful who you connect with – monitor your friend requests and connections
  • If someone has posted something that makes you uncomfortable, say so. Make sure you apply the same principle to everyone else too
  • Know what steps to take should something go wrong, i.e. if someone is abusive or gets hold of information they shouldn’t have
  • Keep your computer’s security software up to date
  • Use strong and unique passwords for each social media account you use; using the same password across all channels makes them all easier to hack
  • If you come across anything online that you don’t trust, or you think might be harmful to yourself or your computer then trust your gut and avoid it or delete it
  • Be wary of posting personal information such as pictures of your home or school online as this could give someone a map with which to find you
  • Avoid posting information and pictures about holidays until after you return home, as burglars are known to use social media to research who’s away from their homes
  • Never post anything that would be offensive or abusive to an individual or societal group
  • Remember that many employers regularly review employee profiles, and potential employers will likely review your profile too

Tips such as these can be helpful to remember, but the overarching theme here should be to simply apply common sense to social media, as you would with anything else.

Social media can be a spectacular tool for good, but just remember to keep your wits about you and trust your gut.

At Formation, we specialise in growing businesses and making things happen. See what we could do for your business with the use of social media.

Written by Kathryn Formation