Cyberbullying can happen to anyone at any age: the latest figures have revealed that, in fact, a quarter of adults in Britain have experienced online bullying. Despite this, it can still be argued that the internet is a space to be enjoyed and that users can be safeguarded, therefore avoiding malicious cyber attacks. You just need to follow a few simple steps to ensure both you and your information stays safe online.
Addresses, bank details, phone numbers, even your relationship status – it goes without saying that you shouldn’t post personal information online. However, it also pays to consider what the content you are posting is actually revealing about yourself. This infographic on how to stay safe on social media reveals that the pictures we share could have items, places, or logos in the background that tell the wrong people where we live, work or even hang out.
What’s more, the geolocation data and metadata associated with photos and posts that we upload can also reveal where we’ve been or where we go frequently. To combat this, it’s advised that you remove this information before posting publicly and you should also limit personal posts to close friends only. The same can be said for the information and contact details you make visible online too.
Use online settings
One of the best ways to keep safe online is by taking advantage of the privacy settings available. Not only can you restrict who sees your posts but you can also determine who can send you messages, who can request to be your friend and how much of your personal information can be seen via search engines. This means you can have more control over what the general public can see about you and also who can get in touch with you.
On that note, it can be a good idea to Google yourself. After all, this is a great way to see exactly what information is available about yourself as well as what is being said about you. You might be surprised what information you previously thought was private actually shows up as public.
Be smart about interactions
From not accepting friend requests from strangers to blocking certain users you’re not comfortable with, there are a whole host of things you can do to keep yourself safe and private online. If you receive any unwanted or unusual messages from people, whether they’re your friends or not, you can also report them on the social media site. If things get serious, you can even involve the police.
You should also be mindful of communications and what sort of information you do share with ‘friends’. After all, once content has been shared online, you can never fully remove it – even if you think you’ve deleted it.
Of course, these are just a few tips. The internet has provided us with a number of benefits including better and easier communication. Not to mention, the fact it allows us to meet and connect with like-minded people. It is, however, important to remember that online harassment and cyberbullying are a real thing but, with a little extra precaution, you can still enjoy and stay safe online.