Social media is a term for websites and mobile apps designed for interacting with other people. There are several popular ones, and new ones continue to emerge every year. Each site is different and has its own purpose.
Here are some of the biggest social media platforms and what people tend to do on them.
Unfortunately, not everyone on the internet is honest. Sometimes, people create fake social media accounts as harmless parodies to entertain their followers. In other cases, people may pose as celebrities or even people seniors know offline in an attempt to gain access to personal information or scam older adults into giving them money. Be cautious when someone contacts you, especially if they’re claiming to be someone famous.
Many social media sites let you protect your content and make it visible only to people you connect with. However, there are still ways other people could see what you post. Someone could capture an image called a screenshot and then share it with the world without your permission. As a result, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable with many people viewing what you post before you put it on social media.
Many social media apps have some sort of private messaging, usually called direct message or DM. This feature allows you to talk to other users without anyone else seeing. If you want to interact with someone but don’t want all your followers to be included, take your conversation to DMs.
If someone gains access to your social media account, they could post content without your knowledge and potentially discover sensitive information about you. To protect yourself from hackers, take advantage of two-factor authentication when it’s available. With two-factor authentication, you enter your password and perform another task to get into your account. For example, the social media site may send you an email with a link to click or a code via text message that you must enter to log in.
Links direct you from one place on the internet to another. On social media, they can provide a handy way to get to an article, an image or a website that may interest you. Unfortunately, they can also be a tool hackers use to try to get into your computer or mobile device. You can protect yourself by only clicking links that you recognize, especially if you receive them via direct message. Even someone you trust could be a source of bad links, as hackers may have taken over the account and used it to distribute malware that will allow them to seize other accounts.
Social media can help you learn many new things, but not all information you see online is trustworthy. Websites, articles and videos that social media posts point to may look like they’re produced by reputable sources when they’re not, and it’s easy to claim online that you’re an expert in something you don’t actually know much about. When it comes to important matters like health advice or news, do your own research before forming an opinion. Check reputable sources like websites that belong to well-known institutions or have .gov at the end of their name.