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Refuse to be a Victim: How to be Safe on Social Media

Refuse to be a Victim: How to be Safe on Social Media

We never think crime can happen to us, until it actually does. While sometimes unfortunate things do happen unexpectedly, it is important to be equipped with the knowledge and skills for personal safety and crime prevention. Having a personal safety strategy in place, and knowing the techniques and tactics you can use to avoid becoming an easy victim can help you live smarter and be safer. NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim® program teaches the tips and techniques you need to be alerted to dangerous situations and to avoid becoming a victim…

Social media is an incredible tool, when used correctly. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and other social networks have become integral parts of our lives. They are great ways to stay connected with people, but it’s important to be cautious about what you post. These networks often give us a false sense of security – we think because we have the options to choose our “friends” or what we post, we are safe. That’s not always the case. Previously, we discussed reasons why parents should talk to their kids about social media safety, but online safety is important for the entire family. Here are some tips on how to be safe on social media:

  • Learn and understand privacy settings. Every social network offers some type of default privacy setting, but that does not mean it’s the best one for you. It’s important to review and know exactly what those settings are, and adjust them to best fit your needs.
  • Be selective of your friends. Social networks are great for staying connected with family and friends – those near and dear to you, as well as those who maybe you’ve met once or twice. Be sure to make use of the tools created to manage your groups of friends, and the information you share with those groups.
  • Protect your reputation. Social networking has expanded beyond family and friends, recruiters and employers are also using it to vet you. It’s important to make sure you are representing yourself positively, whether in photos or in text. What you put online is a representation of your personal brand.
  • Be aware of harmful or malicious content. Just because the video or link comes from a trusted source does not always mean it is trustworthy. Be wary and cautious of clicking on links because they could contain viruses, malware and other online threats.
  • Personal Information is just that, personal. What you post online may be visible to more people than you think. So be cautious of the amount and type of personal information you choose to share. Giving away too many details makes it easier for a hacker or someone to use that information to steal your identity, data and commit other crimes such as stalking.

Being safe does not only apply to the physical world, it is also applicable to the virtual world. Protect yourself, and your loved ones by keeping these tips in mind. What you post online, even if you hit the “Delete” button will always stay online. Think twice before posting!

These tips are brought to you by NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim program. For more information and to find a seminar near you please visit rtbav.nra.org or email refuse@nrahq.org.

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