In my previous post, I discussed Social Media generally and highlighted some of the negative effects of social media. The post has prompted me to write on possible solutions/tips that could help protect us from some of the effects, security risks and problems associated with social media as stated in the post. Below are 6 ways to help you deal with the negative effects of social media:
Dealing With The Negative Effects of Social Media
Know Who Wants to be your “Friend”: Firstly, may I quickly state that I know the ‘followers count’ thing is a big deal and we all want to be a ‘celebrity’ with thousands of followers for the Likes and social media merriment. But it is important that you protect yourself first. There’s a reason we ask “who’s there?” when we hear a knock on our doors at home. You don’t just open the door to just anyone banging on it. Find out who they are and why they want to be friends with you. Do a quick back ground check on Google, other social networks etc.
Be Careful What You Share on Social Media: ‘Internet never forgets’. This can’t be overstated. Please do not post anything you wouldn’t be proud of in the next 5 years anywhere online. Also, avoid posting anything that gives detailed personal information about yourself or family. It’s as dangerous as it sounds. Don’t upload any information than is absolutely necessary. This will go a long way to protect you from stalkers, cyber scammers etc.
Use Privacy Settings: All social networking sites have this feature under ‘Settings’. Use the Privacy Settings to regulate who sees your post. Only the barest minimum should be made available for public consumption. Make sure its only accepted followers that have access to your posts.
Also be aware of Auto-geotagging. Some platforms will automatically tag your status updates with GPS information. If you don’t want everyone to know where you are, make sure your social networking service doesn’t turn on this “feature” for your “convenience” automatically.
Schedule “Social Media Time”: This will probably be the hardest thing to do especially for someone who is a social media addict already. However, it is achievable. Have a time frame for Social Media activities. Login only at that time and make sure you sign out of all accounts once your time is up. This way, you won’t get any notification that could trigger the urge to ‘quickly check what’s popping’. Nothing is popping; focus on more rewarding tasks.
Report Suspected Fraudulent Users: Help protect other users including yourself from cyber crimes. All social networking sites have a ‘report user’ button that helps to identify abusive users. Kindly use this feature when you notice suspected fraudster accounts. Also, encourage your friends to do the same.
ALWAYS PAY ON DELIVERY: This can’t be over emphasized. Always pay on delivery! A number of my friends have falling victim of supposed online stores that’ll display items for sale on their Instagram pages, ask you to credit their account before delivering the item. Next thing is, they get blocked by the scammers. Don’t fall for this; PAY ONLY ON DELIVERY!
Until I come your way again, kindly share this post if you find it helpful. Also kindly add to the list or share your experiences in the comments section below.
(The Shield Columnist)
UFP Social Science