Online safety for 20-somethings

I don’t know why but recently I’ve been thinking a lot about internet safety and the effects of being on social media 24/7. While I think most of us are past the age of being groomed online and know not to give our bank details over to some Nigerian Prince. There are other safety issues that could effect twenty somethings. Here are some reasons you should be more cautious and careful about the things you post online.

Nothing is Private

While you might have your social media set to private it’s not always the case when we live in an age when everything can be screenshotted and passed on. It’s naive to presume only the people you want to see your social media can see it. Also be aware things can go viral very quickly so you might have so just be careful about saying dumb stuff online. There really aren't any secrets on the Internet

Your Boss may see

Remember that your employees might see the things you post on social media. Your prospective employee is likely to give you a google - Things like revealing photos or talking about excessive drinking or drugs are a no-go. Plus if you’re posting on Facebook how much you’re enjoying your weekend away when you called in sick. Theres been a lot of cases in the past few years of people getting in major trouble for posting things about their job online and have been fired. So just be aware.

People can string information together

Be aware that anyone can work out a lot of personal details based on tiny bits of information online. While you might not have posted your full address online you may have accidentally geotagged a photo from your home or in the background of a photo there is a letter with your address on it. I learnt the hard way that people can put little bits of information and come up with very detailed information about your life. To be honest it’s actually unnerving how some dedicated people can work things out about you. Remember when eagle eyed fans worked out where Zoella lived based on a Lookbook Niomi made and the view behind her in a video?

Don’t reveal your Location

While the chances of someone coming up in person to stalk you you just never know what might happen. I don’t tend to ever tweet about the exact location Im at and always “later gram” any pictures of places I’m at. I don’t know, that’s just one of those things Im cautious about! Simple things like tweeting your going to be out of your house on holiday for a few weeks is pretty much an advert saying “Hey, my house is empty!”

Avoid Misunderstandings 

Tone on the internet is incredibly hard to grasp on the internet. Since there is no sarcasm button for social media posts it’s very easy to offend someone without realising it. You might say something off the cuff or innocent, but can be taken completely the wrong way. Avoiding confrontation and thinking twice before posting something controversial or offensive in public can protect you from any sticky situations or arguments. While sharing your thoughts is a really important part of social media just be aware of your words.

Your photos could end up anywhere

I remember a friend telling me a photo of her had ended up on a “Meet these HOT GIRLS today” banner on a porn website and she’d never been more humiliated. There was simply nothing she could do about this because she has no idea how to go about contacting them person to remove her image. Any images can be shared and saved or even stolen to be used without your knowledge. This is a hard one to protect yourself from but it’s just something you should be aware of.

It’s always there

One huge downside of the internet is that once it’s there is pretty much permanent information out there for all to see. I always treat things like they might be on the internet forever. This includes photos, tweets, images and any blog posts. It might be okay at the time but in the long term is this information I want people to see about myself? Always keep up to date with any social media policy changes. Facebook is a killer for changing it’s privacy settings all the time so just keep an eye out for things like that!information.

Don’t post dumb things

While you might post something a little tongue in cheek and ironic people may see it out of context.Your circumstances might change over time and if you’ve posted a dumb tweet that’s gone viral or a photo of you in a then-funny-halloween-costume which could be embarrassing in a few years time.