Happy Wednesday! Woooo two posts in one day WHAT!?!? I was originally going to post this on Monday, but I had a few meetings and was unable to edit it, so better late than never! Now, I’m on my way home and just finished editing this post! Last week, I went on a digital detox for a week (hence this week’s ALSL Blog Hack) and it was soooo rewarding! I plan to do a digital detox every month for some self care. Today, I’m sharing how you can protect yourself online. Being smart online is crucial not only for your privacy and safety, but it can determine if you get your dream job or get accepted to your dream school.
Social Media Privacy
I’m a private person, always have and always will be. Even when I was younger, I never felt the need to post everything online on Facebook or MySpace (remember MySpace!?!?). I never understood why people felt the need to post everything online. What are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to impress? Not gonna lie, this post may/is going to sound judgemental, you have the right to think that, but honestly, if you want to post everything online, then do you and who gives a sh*t of what I say!
As someone who has experienced the harassment and has been bullied and stalked online, being smart on social media is essential for your well being and safety. I’m writing this post as a little guide for you, your friends and family to be safe online. Maybe it’s just from all the creepy personal experience I’ve had in the past year, or watching crime shows, I want you to be safe and smart online! 😘
- When you are making a new account or updating your account(s) to look more professional for school, career, internship etc., consider making an account just for family and friends and another account where people can follow you. For example, I have 2 snapchat accounts – one for family and friends and another for my blog. On Instagram, I have separate accounts for my business/art/food, blog (deactivated for mental health and safety reasons), and personal account for family and friends. The thing with social media is that once you put it out there, it’s there forever. There’s also people that screenshot things and post them on god knows where.- I guess one can argue that it is part of my fault, but I cannot stand it when people screenshot something for example on snapchat. That is why I have stopped using my blog snapchat altogether. Snapchat stories are supposed to last 24 hours, who gave you the right to screenshot it? Blocked and deleted 👋🏻 Especially if you have a blog, or a business or in a position where people (not your family and friends) will want to follow you, I highly recommend having two accounts of everything. Learn how to separate your professional life to your personal life.
- Consider using an alias online. For my job, we are the “face of the organization.” We are representatives of the company, the brand. We have to be professional, you can’t sh*t talk when things go bad (nor should you anyways). I am also going to be a business owner and going to be working in the health/medical field in a couple of years. For safety reasons, it’s a smart move to consider using an alias so my patients and customers cannot find my personal information or my families information. I’ve heard horrible stories where patients would try to find info on their doctor and stalk them…. this story creeps me out! I come from a family of medical-business-education professionals and also know individuals who choose to use an alias for privacy and safety concern. After someone shared and posted my private and confidential online, my guard is up more than ever and I don’t play games when it comes to my privacy and my loved ones privacy and safety. That is one no one will want to cross – I protect my loved ones before myself (wow serious Christina). Additionally, if you have children and are doing a birth announcement or posting achievements, don’t post their full name, name of school, pic of them in uniform etc. There’s A LOT of creepy people out there, better safe than sorry.
- Consider putting your account(s) on private. If you want to control who sees your account, put your account on private and don’t accept follow requests from trolls and spam accounts or people you don’t follow. Also, beware of fake accounts. This happened to me a lot this past year and it is plain creepy! Like you have to be so bored with your life to do this! Basically, people made numerous fake accounts to follow me, my family and friends…. I don’t even know how they found their accounts. There were also a few times when they also made a fake account of my friends to follow my family and friends account…. Be aware and smart on whose follow requests you accept. Tip: ask them if that is truly their account.
- Do a block and delete purge. I did this last week and I ended up getting deleting hundreds of people! It was time consuming, but it was definitely worth it! I will never understand why people create accounts to stalk people…. My life is not interesting. I’m awkward and boring. There’s absolutely no reason why people need to create an account to see what I’m doing. I’m not interested in your attention, nor want your attention. Delete spam/troll accounts or accounts that have follow 2 people or those that follow hundreds of people and have zero to little followers…. Those accounts are bad news. Also, check to see who they follow and trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable, delete and block!
Social Media Safety
- Be considerate when posting your family and friends photos, especially underage children. I HATE when people (bloggers or those that claim to be “public figures”) post photos of their children for content and clicks. I had to unfollow bloggers and “public figures” altogether when they’re posting their children in the bath (WTF! Putting a gif over it, isn’t going to do anything), or posting photos and videos that should stay between your family. I don’t know if they do this for headpats, or follows and likes and to get sponsorships, but for me, when I’m a parent, my/our job is to love and protect them and to raise to be good people, not to monetize them. Did your baby or your toddler give you permission to post photos and videos of them? More than likely, no they did not. There is a lot of creepy people out there that can screenshot these moments and have them forever. Listen, I know they’re not my kids and that it is not my business. Yes, I agree. It’s not. All I know is that my future children will be well protected and no one besides family and friends won’t know everything about them and my kids won’t be suing me for not respecting their privacy 🤷🏻♀️ Sorry not sorry
- Make your passwords complicated. Don’t be silly and use “password123.” Use a combinations of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols!
Social Media Etiquette
- Be professional. Do not post anything online that you will one day regret. I guarantee you that your future employer and school will look you up online and once something is out there, it’s out there forever. This can affect your chance on getting your dream job or getting accepted to your dream school. For example, I am going into medicine/health field as well opening up 2 businesses. I have to be professional. No one wants their doctor to be doing something questionable and I guarantee you, that one would not want to support a business where their values don’t match.
- Treat everyone with respect and be kind to everyone. Treat others how you want to be treated. Don’t be mean to anyone but also, don’t be afraid to speak out and fight for the truth and do the right thing.
- Avoid oversharing. No one cares that you’re brushing your teeth (although hygiene is very important) or you’re working out or doing this or that. Look you can post what you want to post who cares what I say or think 🤷🏻♀️ Oversharing could actually lead to the “decrease of your brand.”
- Don’t misrepresent yourself. Stay true to yourself in real life and online. There’s no reason to embellish your life!
- Don’t drink and post/tweet. Don’t post things that you will one day regret and affect your future. Once it’s out there forever…. it’s out there forever. You never know who takes screenshots.
If there’s anything you may have learned from this post, it’s to be careful online and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t share personal information, photos and videos that could one day haunt you and your safety. Be smart and be careful out there! 😘