Safebook – Social networks and how to be safe
When used carefully, social media is a fantastic tool. With social networks we can keep in touch with friends and family, share experiences and join communities. And it’s great for business, too – companies use social media platforms to spread their message and reach new customers. The power of social networking to spread messages, connect and share information is huge, and this is what we need to be extremely careful about.
Before you post anything on Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself whether this status update, meme or photo is going to annoy or upset anyone. Or would you be happy with your latest selfie being printed off and posted around your school and hometown? If you’re posting a message on someone’s public wall, ask yourself whether this is something you’d say to them at school, in front of people. If it’s not kind or helpful, is it really worth saying?
Would you leave your diary or a treasured photo album lying around in a public place for anyone to have a good look through? Would you be happy letting a stranger scroll through the messages and pictures on your phone, knowing they could capture all this data and share it with all their friends? Keep your Twitter and Facebook profile settings private and only accept friend and follow requests from people you really know.
If someone is using Facebook to try to upset, annoy or scare you, you have the power to make it stop in seconds. One click: unfriended. Another click: blocked. Never respond to nasty comments as this is exactly what a cyberbully wants you to do. Always tell someone what has happened – a friend, parent or teacher – and encourage your friends to do the same if someone if trying to cyberbully them.
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