While we are all no doubt looking forward to a much needed festive season and holiday, we would like to just be that voice of reason to remind you of one or two things to be conscious about while making the most of your break. Here are Farosian’s simple do’s and don’ts of social media use!
Understand your privacy settings.
Making sure one’s privacy settings are limited to your close friends and people you personally know is essential during the festive season as you do not want strangers to have access to your social media content. Be sure that you do a search of yourself and double check that you have set these correctly. Remember, anything posted to the public domain is visible to the public.
Know your company’s social media policy.
This is something which is often misunderstood or neglected, however, this is critical information. Breaching the guidelines of the social media policy in your organisation could land you in hot water and essentially cost you your job. If you don’t already know about your employers social media policy – ask! If you are an employer yourself, Farosian recommends implementing a stand-alone social and digital media policy to mitigate risk and manage situations which will inevitably arise in future.
Know your platform.
As the silly season approaches us it is essential that you know how to navigate the social media platforms that you are using. This includes understanding the privacy settings, and being mindful of the risks involved in sharing content. Finally, while we encourage you to share and engage with others on social media, remember that before you post – stop, think, think again, and then post!
Understand how your social media information can be used.
When posting information or images online be sure to think about the content and how it portrays you to the rest of the world before you share. Remember that future employers are able to access this, and it could hinder or help your ability to find future employment. The same goes for people you might be tagging – as it is very easy to post content but once it is out there, there is often no way of taking it back.
Value quality friends over quantity.
Throughout the holidays we tend to cross paths with various individuals be it friends of friends or a stranger you met on a night out. Be wise about the people you are willing to add online as once the exchange of profiles are made remember that they now have access to most of your life’s happenings and all that you share on social media. Be responsible when choosing who to “Friend” online.
The holidays tend to be a time that one wants to share with friends and family. Show them what you’re up to, where you have been and possibly where you will be going. This, however, can put one at risk, as most people fail to consider the personal private information which is featured on their social media profiles and even in pictures. If you are sharing where you are going but also advertising that your home will be empty for the holidays – you are indirectly informing opportunists that you are a potential target.
What Would Grandma Say?
When we are on holiday, we tend to want to let our hair down and have fun. During this time though – you need to be savvy about what you are posting online as you can be held liable for any content you like, post, share, or retweet. The general consensus is don’t post something unless you are willing to share it with your grandma. Once again, be sure to understand the social media policies at your current place of employment.
Do not post when under the influence.
This may seem obvious, however a large portion of regrettable social media posts are shared by individuals who are under the influence. This is a mistake that can be easily made but almost impossibly undone. Once it is seen, it cannot be unseen – don’t drink and post!
Do not accept unknown friend requests and messages.
This is something that may seem obvious, however there is often huge pressure to gain friends, followers, likes and shares on one’s pictures and posts, and the result is that individuals often just accept friends requests and messages from complete strangers. This results in phishing, hacking, as well as a number of other cyber security risks. Ensure that you verify all social media interactions so you do not find yourself in this position.
Do not disrespect and bully.
One needs to consider that during the festive season people are celebrating various aspects of culture and religion and with this comes the responsibility to respect one another’s beliefs and ways of representing this. Don’t use social media to disregard someone or post insensitive content if you believe otherwise. It is okay to have your own opinion, however, social media might not always be the place to voice them.
The moral of the story is that social media is an incredibly powerful tool which allows us to connect with friends, family, and so much more, but with this comes the responsibility to manage your profiles with caution and to be mindful about what you’re sharing and how you’re interacting with others online. Remember, what you do on social media is a direct reflection of who you are and what you stand for, and it’s critical to keep this in mind.
To learn more about social media safety, check out this blog post!
Be kind, have fun, and be authentic, but remember to be careful.