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Social Media Safety

Social media fraud is a growing trend in a tech-savvy world.

Tens of thousands of people go to jail and seek bail bonds every year because they have stalked someone on social media, taken personal photos and posed as the person in the photo, and even kidnapped individuals by using social media to find out location, whereabouts and what family members look like.

If that isn’t scary enough, I don’t know what will be! But you can take control by implementing social media safety tips while you are online. Read on to get our top tips for protecting you, your assets and your family:

Tip #1: Make Your Accounts Private

Unless you are a brand or a celebrity, you don’t need a public account. Instead, make your accounts private and allow people to “friend” you only if you truly know them and have verified their accounts. Many times, people who are stalking or looking to take advantage of you will gather more information because your posts are public. Protect yourself and your children by going private.

Tip #2: Limit Hashtags

Hashtags are used on Twitter and Instagram especially to alert other public users of posts they care about. For example, when someone uses the hashtag #TBT, that means “Throwback Thursday,” and it’s designed to collect old memories and photographs from the past. When you tag a photo with a hashtag, it becomes visible to the public community, and they can see your post. To eliminate the chances of your posts being seen in public feeds, eliminate the use of hashtags in your captions.

Tip #3: Be Smart About Your Content

It’s fine to post that summer photo of you at the beach — but if you do it while you’re at the beach and your post is public, then anyone who is in the social media platform’s community knows your not at home. So be careful with what you post. Don’t post a photo of where you live, the location of your home or when you are out of town. Be careful about posting photos of your children or loved ones, as they can be especially vulnerable victims as a result of social media predators. Think about a slower posting schedule, in which you post a week or two later after the event or trip. Before you post, read through it and ask yourself: “Is there anything in this post that I wouldn’t want a stranger to know?” From there, you can edit your captions before posting them on your social media channels.

Tip #4: Cover Up Your Camera

Finally, if you are working on a laptop that has a camera, make sure you cover it up with sturdy sticker. Spying on people via the camera on your phone happens more often than you think — and hackers can find their way into your computer easily. From there, they can not only snoop on you but read your emails and social media posts — even hijacking them and blackmailing you in the process. Avoid some of this by making sure your camera is securely covered. You’ll not only have peace of mind but you’ll actually be safe because no one will be able to see you.

Don’t Risk the Safety of Your Photos and Data Online

If there is anything to learn from this quick guide of tips it’s that in today’s digital world there are many people looking to take advantage — and there are many easy things you can do to prevent becoming a victim. The first step in the process is awareness. The second is action.

Incorporate these social media safety tips into your daily activities across your social media platforms. Over time, these easy best practices tips become habit — and they ultimately protect you and your family from becoming the victim of a crime. You owe it to your family to protect them in whatever way you can — and that means guarding yourself against fraud while you enjoy curating your social media feeds. Start today with these four tips!

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