Nowadays, social media accounts are the norm for people of all ages, especially among teens where almost everyone seems to have multiple accounts, just like their friends. And though social media offers plenty of benefits, it does have some safety risks. So, whether you're a concerned parent or a responsible teen yourself, here are four steps that can be taken to improve teen safety on social media.
1. Review content before posting
Before posting anything on social media, think carefully about whether or not it reveals too much private information about yourself. Posting things like personal contact information or details about problems in your personal life can come back and haunt you at a later date. If you need to discuss any problems or share sensitive information, then speak to people in person rather than posting online where anyone can find it.
2. Take a look at your privacy settings
As standard, most social media accounts have privacy settings that aren't very strict. As such, it's possible that all kinds of people are able to see what it is you are publishing online, including photos, videos and written posts. To maximise security, it's best to alter all privacy settings so that only friends are able to see your posts. To find out more, here is where you find the settings for…
3. Keep your location settings switched off
Location settings come into play whenever you want to geotag a photo or post with your exact location. Though this might seem cool, it reveals to everyone following your profile exactly where you are. Which isn't always a good thing as it’s not smart to give your whereabouts at all times to people it doesn't concern.
4. Don’t accept all friend requests
As a general rule, it is only sensible to accept friend requests from people you have actually met in person and who you like. If a complete stranger pops up, then it's best to ignore them and cancel their request. Strange profiles could potentially lead to cyberbullying or stalking and, in many cases, the profile will be fake and made by a bot. So instead of simply accepting all requests as a means to boost your online friend count, it’s wise to be picky.
Just by following these four simple steps, a lot can be done to mitigate the risks posed by social media. And in general, it's about being aware of your actions online and how they could potentially be viewed by others. So if you want to enhance your own safety today, or that of a teenage son or daughter, then these are the best ways to get started.