You may not give it much thought as you scroll through your Instagram feed, but social media poses many dangers. Our society has become reliant on the speed and ease of communication and connection that social media has introduced to our lives. However, we should be wary of this easy access to information about people’s day-to-day lives.
There are a few different things to worry about when it comes to social media use. We’ve outlined a few of these issues and other tips for staying safe on social media.
Dangers of Social Media
People are always on their phones these days. The constant availability of social media poses many problems for both for your physical security and your emotional well-being. Here are a few of the different dangers of social media.
Security Dangers of Social Media
- Identity theft
- Cyber threats (cyberbullying, cyber predators, et cetera)
Emotional Dangers of Social Media
- Constant need for validation
- Constant comparison to others
Tips for Staying Safe on Social Media
1. Use a strong password
We should all know it by now: the stronger your password, the safer your account. But what exactly makes a strong password? We recommend making your password more of a passphrase—create a little sentence to use as your passcode instead. More sites are allowing spaces in passwords as well, giving you even more options for a safer password.
2. Vary your passwords for every account
Each of your social media accounts should have a different password. You may think that using the same password will save you time, and it’s certainly easier to remember. However, when you use the same password for each account, you’re making it much easier for someone to steal your information.
3. Be selective about friend requests
Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. If your Instagram account is public and someone who makes you uncomfortable begins following you, block them. Social media and solicitation are a combination that has become more prevalent than ever, but many lurking dangers can be avoided just by deleting and blocking friend requests. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to letting people see your personal information and photos.
4. Don’t share your location
Disable location tagging for your photos. It can pose a physical threat to you personally and make your home a target if you’re gone for long periods of time. It’s best to be discreet about your whereabouts.
5. Limit social media use
This tip is important for multiple reasons. Your emotional well-being will be much better off if you limit your use of social media, since the constant comparison and need for validation won’t be as prevalent in your life. These limitations will also protect you against many of the security issues that arise when you’re constantly posting and sharing details about your life.
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