Social media for the youth is all about experimenting and finding their voice. Not feared to showcase their personal lives on the popular public domains, it is impossible to keep them away from these networking channels as these have become their best friend, guide, tutor, and so much more.
According to Pew Research Centre, 97 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds use at least one of seven major online platforms. One cannot ignore the number of hours spent scrolling on these channels – a report indicates the average teen aged between 13 to 18 spends nearly nine hours on social media, each day, and tweens aged 8 to 12 use social media for about six hours a day. In this world, when everything is online, social media brings along with the endless breaches of trust and the horrors of shredded reputations.
5 Things You Should Never Share on Facebook and social media
Considered as double-edged sword, although social media has its advantages and allows us to stay in touch with friends and family settled across the globe, it also exposes all of us to stalkers and cyber criminals trying to threaten, blackmail or harm social media users in some way or the other. It’s great for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it can also expose you to stalkers and cyber-criminals.
Illegal and offensive content – racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination should not be displayed or outrightly propagated on social media.
Personal details – vacation plans, address, current location, etc. This gives burglars a fair idea of your plans and allows them to chart their course of action.
Threats – social media is being scrutinised extensively, and, therefore, wishing someone ill, whether it is a friend, colleague, politician, celebrity, whatever, is not ok!! You can even land up in jail for doing so. If you don’t like someone else, social media is not the right place to be hurl threats of any kind.
Photos – We all, at some point, have stalked someone or the other on social media. With a zillion users online, we are all tempted to upload photos, be it personal, of our kids, or even the embarrassing ones to give our virtual friends a peek into our personal lives. But be careful. There are sex offenders on the internet, and they use social media to target their victims.
The more information you give out on social media, the easier it is for online thieves to steal your identity for wrongful acts. We know it’s fun to receive tons of birthday wishes from the virtual world, but we often forget that our birthday is a key piece of information they need to steal our identity. With the advancement in technology, there are new algorithms that help cyber criminals guess our social security number by using birthday and place of birth.
It is best to treat social media with the same care you would treat the real world. Be discreet, be respectful, and don’t overshare. Protect yourself, your sanctity and enjoy the offerings of social media in your best interest.