5 Ways You Can Stay Safe On Social Media

EDITORIAL

Oversharing on social media can cost you your life.

You, that’s what we learnt this past week. With horrific news reports jumping at us every day, it’s time for us to get to the root of the problem.

As of late, social media, which has been helpful in keeping people connected, has been doing more bad than good. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are now the world’s largest databases of personal information, and unsurprisingly, they have also become a haven for identity thieves, con artists, and scammers.

Stealing the headlines this week is Kim Kardashian West, who was in France for Paris Fashion Week.

The 35-year-old reality TV star was reportedly held at gunpoint by thieves who posed as French policemen. They bound and gagged in her private Parisian apartment early Monday morning (3rd Oct) before walking away with a US$4.5 million ring and a box containing US$6 million worth of jewels.

Kardashian West posted this picture to Instagram just hours before the incident.

She also posted this picture showing off her Cartier bracelets to Snapchat while she was in Paris.

The 20-carat, emerald-cut Lorraine Schwartz ring gifted by husband Kanye West recently was last seen on Kim's finger in a Snapchat post earlier that night.

As her longtime personal bodyguard Pascal Duvier happened to out with her sister Kourtney and Kendall that night, people are assuming it was an inside job. Undoubtedly, however, it also brings up the question of whether the incident was a result of her flaunting on social media.

Another horrifying case reported by WNEP.com tells the tale of a 13-year-old Washington native, Izabel Laxamana, who took her own life after her father recorded a video of him punishing her for unspecified behavior and shared it online. It sparked a debate over public shaming videos posted online by parents.

Most of us are active on one or more social media sites daily, even hourly. It’s become a way of life, and we don’t even think twice about it anymore. But maybe it’s time we should.

There are little things we do that we do not think much about,  but can lead to severe consequences. Here are some of them.

#1 Be careful of who follows you

This to me, is very important whether you have a public or a private account, you should track your followers list, as  they are usually the first to see your posts.

While it’s all about how many followers or online friends you have these days, don’t just accept every friend request that comes your way. Before you know it, you may have given access to strangers to view your every move. Even seemingly harmless faceless accounts could be someone trying to sneak their way into your most private moments.

Also, beware of frenemies. If you don’t have the best or closest friendship with someone or they are known to be hateful and busybody, it’s better if you block them from your friends list. You know what they say, some friends do more harm than good.

#2 Avoid sharing personal details

(Source: philippineslifestyle.com)

Preventing yourself from sharing too much information can save you from identity theft and protect your physical safety.

Do not ever share your ID and credit card details, phone number, and even your birthday.

Beyond that, there’s also no need to give too much information about your daily life – social media sites aren’t diaries for your deepest, darkest secrets. By putting your personal data out there, you are allowing yourself to be manipulated and abused.

Don’t even use these status updates to announce your next holiday, like “Can’t wait for the weekend trip! Then it’s back to work on Monday… :(”. It basically translates to “My house is going to be unattended all weekend! Come rob me!”

Don’t make yourself an easy target.

#3 Flaunting your riches

Kylie Jenner on Instagram.

What’s the point of buying a designer bag if you can’t post 100 pics of it on Instagram right? Wrong. You don’t need validation from your Instagram followers or Facebook friends to let you know you are ballin’ hard in life. 

The occasional flash of a new watch or bag is fine, but if you’re going to consistently post about your luxurious lifestyle with pictures of fancy dinners, exotic getaways and a Louboutin-filled closet, you’re letting people know you’ve got the moolah.

And Kim Kardashian West is a living example that this sort of behaviour can be seriously harmful.

#4 Be aware of your surroundings

(Source: Pintrest)

Are you taking your #OOTDs in front of your front gate or your car?

People are taking note of your car plate number and the street you live on. This relates to #2 - by oversharing information, you can making yourself an easy target. 

#5 If you wouldn’t say it or do it in public, don’t post it online

This comes down to looking ‘cool’ online. If you wouldn’t tell your boss that he sucks, or your teacher that he’s a pain in real life, don’t post it online.

You have to remember that everything you post online will be there forever. The moment someone takes a screenshot of it, there is no way for you to wiggle your way out of the mess. If you’re really that unhappy, rant to a trustworthy friend.


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