The use of social media can be very beneficial to senior citizens who understand how to use it. In today’s busy world, it’s the best and easiest way to stay connected to loved ones and long lost friends. Although learning something new can often be challenging, some benefits of social media use in seniors include improved cognitive abilities, decreased feelings of loneliness and the obvious, a source of entertainment. However, social media can also be very dangerous without even realizing. It’s important to learn how to keep yourself safe while still having fun. Here are some tips for seniors to help keep your privacy protected.
Ø Turn Off Your Mobile Device’s Location Services
o Many social media apps and services will use your smartphone’s GPS location tracking for many different reasons, such as trying to target more specific ads toward you based on your recent locations. In the settings options on your phone, you can easily turn off location services so that no apps are allowed to access your location.
Ø Protect Your Posts.
o If your account on Twitter or Facebook is public, then each post can potentially reach an unlimited audience. The keywords and hashtags in your posts will be searchable by the public. If you don’t need to communicate with the public at large, then you might want to consider switching over to a protected account. Protected posts are only visible to followers that have your approval. This can be an ideal way to network with your close friends, family, and audience members. It gives you an intimate space to share updates with a select group of people. Also, protected posts won’t be indexed by search engines, so no one will be able to view your updates when they Google you.
Ø Only Connect with Friends and Family
o Once you join different social media sites, you have the opportunity to connect to anyone and everyone else using the site. The best way to keep your information safe and secure is to make sure all of your profiles are set to “private” and you never add anyone you don’t know as a friend or follower, be it a famous person or a business page. Don’t trust anyone or any social media page with your personal information other than the people who know you the best. This is way one for hackers to take over your account.
Ø Think about the nature of your posts.
o Unless you’re trying to promote products or services to the public, then it’s a good idea to keep your personal posts private. Seemingly harmless public posts can become risks in the future. For example, you might not believe that publicly posting about your upcoming vacation is a major concern. However, this information could be used by criminals hoping to target unattended homes. You can restrict the audience of your past and future Facebook and Twitter posts, but it might be smarter to put some thought into your posts regardless.
Ø Don’t Share with Unknown Apps
o On sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can connect third-party apps to your profile. On Facebook, you have to grant these third-party apps permission to access your personal information on your profile. Once you grant these apps access, they will be able to see details that, if your profile is set to private, you have previously only chosen to share with Facebook friends. To remove any apps that you already have, you’ll need to go to your Facebook settings and revoke each app’s access to your profile. All it takes is a few clicks to remove any and all third-party apps.
Ø Don’t Refer to Other Social Media Accounts
o Many social media platforms allow you to fill in a profile field linking over to your other social networking accounts. However, it can be a good idea to maintain a separation between accounts, especially if they involve different personal and professional identities. For example, you might not want LinkedIn audiences to find your Facebook account. Avoid connecting these accounts to increase the privacy and security of your digital identities.