Brought to you by neighbourly.co.nz
This week is Connect Smart week – a government initiative that promotes ways for individuals, businesses and schools to protect themselves online.
Kiwis are a social bunch. Four out of five of us regularly use the internet, with 78 per cent of us accessing it in the last week*. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Neighbourly or LinkedIn, social media is increasingly becoming part of the average Kiwi’s daily life; in November 2013 alone 2.8 million of us accessed a social media website**.
But virtual platforms have become ingrained in our daily lives and it can be easy to forget that social media crosses over into reality. Some of us are more than happy to share intimate details of our lives on social media like baby photos, holiday plans and boozy selfies when we’re out on the town.
It’s important to remain safe on social media. The following tips will help you make the most of your online experience and ensure you’re connecting smart.
Be careful what personal infor- mation you share. Don’t advertise the fact that you’re going away for three weeks; if you want someone to look after your house while you’re away, send them a private message.
If you live alone, think carefully before sharing this online. Never disclose online banking information either. Your banking provider will never ask for your password online.
Change your passwords regularly. The more you safeguard your social media and email accounts, the less likely they’ll be hacked.
Choosing a password with a mix of alphabetical (upper and lower- case), numerical and symbol characters is recommended.
Avoid passwords that reference your birthday, and don’t use the same password for everything.
Become familiar with social media privacy settings. Some social media platforms frequently change their privacy settings and simply having an account with them means you agree to them.
Always make sure you know what those changes mean for your privacy. If you have an issue contact the social media platform directly or, if you don’t agree with them, it may be best to close down your account altogether.
Remember that your digital footprint is hard to delete. It’s really hard to get rid of your online history, which means those drunken photos on Facebook could come back to bite you in the bum.
Choose what you post online carefully, and consider what others post about you too. Some parents are even choosing not to post photos of their newborn babies.
Do to others as you’d have them do to you. Treat everyone with the same respect you hope to receive. If you wouldn’t say something in person, don’t post it online.
Most social media sites have a way to block or mute a member.
If you ever feel harassed, threatened or uncomfortable do contact social media administrators directly and express your concerns. *Aged over 15 years **comScore Jan 2014