This post is a guest submission. Please see our Disclaimer, Disclosures, & Affiliate Notice for details.
For the majority of young people, using social media is non-negotiable. For those young people born at a certain time, they have never known a time before smartphones and Facebook. So they have grown up in a world where a lot of importance is placed on social media. Social media is a great outlet for sharing interests and connecting with people, but there are also many steps you have to take to make sure that you’re always safe and healthy while using it.
Don’t Be Everybody’s Friend
The pressures of social media can make you feel as though your friend or follower count is a reflection of your self-worth, but it’s simply not the case. These pressures mean that most people would accept a friend request or follow from complete strangers, just to bump up the total number. To remain safe, however, try to only accept friend requests, messages and follows from people you know and who you actually want to talk to.
Take a Break When it Becomes a Problem
If you enjoy using social media, that’s great. However, if your endless scrolling of social media leaves you feeling unhappy about your own life, triggers low mood or gives you anxiety in any form, pay attention to the signs, and take a break from it. If you have already been struggling with your mental health or if social media has triggered any mental health issues, you should know that you’re not alone, and that help and support can be sought from centers like igniteteentreatment.com.
Set Up Strong Passwords
Most websites will now prompt you to set up strong passwords regardless, but try to create passwords that have a variety of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Furthermore, try to avoid posting anything on social media that will give away hints to your password. Many people use family names, locations, pet names, or favorite things as their passwords, so if you’re posting a lot about these areas, hackers may wish to try their luck with guessing your security information.
Don’t Share Personal Information
Nobody on social media should be asking for your personal information, whether through commenting, direct messaging, or otherwise. Even if you think you know a person well, such as a friend in real life, there’s always a chance their account might have been hacked if they begin asking you questions about personal information. Trust your gut.
Also, always be careful with any photos you choose to post. What you may think is an innocent selfie may have items or information shown in the background which offer insight into your personal life, or the location you’re based.
While social media should be a safe and fun environment to connect with people and browse online, it’s fast becoming a playground for negative people, hackers, and the pressures of society that can prompt low moods. Be sure to pay attention to any warning signs when using social media, both for the protection of yourself and for others.
Mike is a freelance tech writer who follows the latest trends in digital marketing, SEO, & web design.