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Social Media Safety Tips

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are wonderful ways to stay connected with your friends and family, stay up to date on current events and breaking news, and to engage on an issue that matters to you. Always remember that online activity can be risky, so please use common sense and good judgment.

Be sure to keep in mind the following “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to enhance your online safety:

DO

  • Use privacy settings to adjust who can view and share the content you post on social media. For information on where to find your privacy settings, see our guide below.
  • Know what action to take: if someone is harassing you, unfriend and/or block them, and report their activity to the site administrator. Depending on the severity, it may be appropriate to notify law enforcement.
  • Remember your online manners: be courteous and respectful of others.

DON’T

  • Post your address, personal information, or anything you don’t want made public on social media. What you post online stays online.
  • Accept friend or follower requests from people you don’t know.
  • Engage with someone who you feel is harassing you online.

For more tips, visit StaySafeOnline.org.

How to increase your privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

When you sign up for social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you may not realize that many of your posts are publicly accessible online. Use this guide to restrict access to your social media accounts to only include your friends and followers.

Facebook

1. Start by navigating to the top right corner and clicking the “down” arrow to reveal the menu. Select Settings from the menu.

2. Click on Privacy located in the left-hand toolbar. Then, click the Edit button next to Who can see your future posts? Adjust who can see your future posts in the menu on the lower right – we recommend Friends only.

3. Next, click the Edit button next to Who can send you friend requests? Adjust who can send you friend requests in the dropdown menu – we recommend friends of friends only.

4. Adjust who can look you up on Facebook using your email address by clicking the Edit button next to Who can look you up using the email address you provided? Then, make a selection from the dropdown menu below – we recommend Friends only.

5. Adjust who can look you up on Facebook using your phone number by clicking the Edit button next to Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? Then, make a selection from the dropdown menu below – we recommend Friends only.

Twitter

1. When looking at your timeline, click on your profile picture icon in the top right section of the window. Then, click settings in the dropdown menu.

2. Next, click security and privacy on the left side of the menu.

3. You can adjust your privacy settings in the section marked Privacy. We recommend you protect your tweets so they’re only viewable to your friends. This also means that your tweets can’t be retweeted.

Instagram for iPhone

1. Select the profile icon on the bottom right of your screen.

2. Select the gear icon on the top right of your screen.

3. Flip the switch next to private account to keep your Instagram profile private. This means that only your friends on Instagram will be able to view your photos.

Instagram for Android

1. Select the profile icon on the bottom right of your screen.

2. Select the three dots icon on the top right.

3. Flip the switch next to private account to keep your Instagram profile private. This means that only your friends will be able to view your photos.