How to stay safe on social media

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Find out tips and tricks that you can use to keep yourself safe on social media from the founder of On A Budget, Toni Trevillion.

INTRO

Online safety is an important part of using social media. At Electric House, an important part of our community first commitment is to safeguard our community members from harm on social media.

Groups Director and Founder of the On A Budget network, Toni Trevillion, knows a lot about community safeguarding. Toni’s role involves understanding and implementing practical methods to counter hate within our communities and keep every member safe.

Here you can find Toni’s best advice for how to defend yourself against online abuse on social media, including how to recognise online abuse, how to report online abuse, and preventative measures against online abuse.

HOW TO RECOGNISE HATE OR MISINFORMATION

PEN America defines the terms online harassment or online abuse as the “pervasive or severe targeting of an individual or group online through harmful behaviour.” Common examples can include hateful speech, sexual harassment, or threats of violence.

Digital hate can also take the form of misinformation (unintentionally false information), disinformation (intentionally false information), or ‘fake news’.

Since social media is a public platform, any information can be posted without being fact-checked.

“Facebook is fab at highlighting false news. Some rules you can follow to verify the accuracy of a post on social media are to check the source, check who else is reporting on the same topic, and check the evidence.”

– Toni Trevillion, Groups Director

SAFEST SOCIAL ACCOUNT SETTINGS

There are also preventative measures that you can take to protect yourself on social media, inside and outside of communities.

“Making full use of your privacy settings on any social platform will ensure that only the people you want to see your content can see it.

Facebook offers two-step verification, which will help keep your login details and account safe from hackers. In addition, you should block people that you really don’t want contact with. Don’t add people that you don’t know in person, and set your content privacy settings to ‘friends only’.”

– Toni Trevillion, Groups Director

WHAT TO POST & WHAT NOT TO POST

Many people use social media to update the world on their day-to-day lives, but you should be careful with how much personal information you’re putting out there. Hackers can easily use some information that you post to steal your identity, access your private data, or commit other crimes.

Here are some things that Toni says you should think twice about posting about on social media:

  • Your full birthday (with the year)
  • Your legal relationship status (married or single)
  •  Your home address
  • Your phone number
  • Your current location
  • Your holiday plans
  • Photos of your children in their school uniform

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE ONLINE ABUSE

Digital abuse may be inescapable, but you’re not powerless against it. There are some concrete steps that you can take to address the abuse that you encounter on social media. Once you’ve recognised the abuse, documented the abuse, and assessed your safety, you can take these measures:

“Start by reporting the abusive post to Facebook or the platform you are on. Then, if the post has been shared by a page, you can unfollow the page or hide the post and if the post has been shared by a person you can unfriend, block, and hide the post.”

 

Visit the National Cyber Security Center for more information about keeping yourself safe on social media.
Want to know how Electric House can help you build a community on social media? Find our Social Media Management services here.
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