Top tips to stay safe on Social Media in Africa

February 15, 2016 • Online & Social, Top Stories

alcatel one touch

Alcatel Onetouch offers some tips for staying safe online while using your mobile device in tandem with social media applications.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other popular social media tools are great for sharing your life and your thoughts with friends. But be wary of dangers such as cyberbullying, fraud, and damage to your reputation as you use these powerful tools.

In the article below, Alcatel Onetouch offers some tips for staying safe online while using your mobile device in tandem with social media applications.

There is no delete button
Remember that anything you post on the Internet could stay online forever. Even if you delete it, someone else might have captured a screenshot, saved the data, or shared it with their social networks. You don’t want a tasteless joke or embarrassing outburst to follow you around months later, so think before you post. If you couldn’t say it in front of your boss or your parents, you probably shouldn’t say it online.

Be wary about accepting friend requests from people you don’t know in real life
Use your discretion when befriending people on platforms where you share a lot of personal information, such as Facebook. Though it might give your ego a boost to feel popular, sharing too much information with people you hardly know can compromise your security. Having too many virtual friends means there are more strangers who have easy access to your personal information. Of course, a lot of the power in platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn comes from meeting new people and hearing insights from strangers. Use these tools wisely by being careful about what sort of information you disclose.

Don’t open untrusted links and promotions
Don’t open any link you get in a personal message from a stranger on any social media platform. Be wary about opening links in personal messages from your friends too, since it’s possible that someone else has hijacked their account. If your mother is sending you links to Russian brides or weight loss tips, she has probably been hacked.

Protect your phone with a pin or password
An identity thief can have a field day with your social media accounts, so protect your information by locking access to your device behind a pin code or password. Ensure that your device does not automatically remember your login and password for your social networking as an extra level of security.

Use the privacy settings that meet your needs
Social networks such as Facebook gives you granular control over who can see your posts, who they may share them with, who may send you friend requests or personal messages and so on. You can also select on a post by post basis who can see your content. You can also configure what information apps can access from your profile and how they use it. For example, make sure that apps don’t have permission to automatically post annoying updates in your feed or that information you share on Twitter isn’t automatically linked to your Facebook profile as well.

Don’t give personal information
Be suspicious of anyone who asks you online for your personal information such as your phone number, home address, or other info.  Never give your passwords or login details to a stranger, no matter who they say they are – a social media site or bank will never request this info.

Install an anti-virus app
Your Android smartphone can scan for malware, but an antivirus app can give you a little more peace of mind. Have a look at the Google Play Appstore to see which ones fit your needs and your budget.

Staff Writer

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