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Get the whole picture on safe social media

Holiday time is when many of us use social media to the max - whether it’s posting our holiday pics, communicating with friends and family or getting our entertainment.

However, your social media experience can be tainted either by the actions of others or things you do yourself without thinking. So we’ve brought you some essential tips to help protect yourself, your family, finances and devices from problems … in the holidays and all year round.

Check your settings

Check your privacy settings to make sure only those you want to can see your profile and posts. Even then, you can’t be sure that your information won’t be shared.

Too much info

A lot of the information that many people put online can be used by fraudsters. For example, don’t use your real date of birth in your profile.

To click or not to click?

On Facebook, Twitter and many other social media sites, you’ll often get invited to click on a link to a freebie, special offer or charity appeal … or to view sensational content. Be very careful what you click on as it may take you to a fraudulent website.

What goes online, stays online

It’s easy to post or share a comment or photo, but probably impossible to delete or control what happens to it next. That includes abusive or embarrassing comments, sexy pics and things you might regret saying the next morning. Your employer might see it too! Think before you post or send.

Abuse, bullying, stalking

Report any kind of abuse you encounter on social media, and unfriend the perpetrator. And, of course, doing the same thing to others is a no-no … it’s harmful and unnecessary.

Protecting your kids

Posting pics of your kids? Turn off geolocation in your settings so they can’t be tracked. If they use Snap Maps, tell them to switch on Ghost Mode to keep their location hidden. Talk to them about who they accept as friends, and online stranger danger. That’s good advice for big kids (adults) too. And remember that most social media sites have lower age limits.

Away from home?

It’s great posting updates or pics about what a fantastic holiday you’re having, but that could also be telling everyone that your home is unoccupied. Some insurance companies are rejecting burglary claims for this very reason. Again, think before you post or send.

Be your own person

Urging someone else on social media to do or post something irresponsible or harmful may be some people’s idea of fun. Don’t get swayed to do something you know is wrong, and don’t do it to others.