Know your online friends

 

What kind of risk are you taking when adding strangers to your online account? How many people are on your social networking friend list? Do you really know every single one of them personally? Would you talk to them in person? Be careful who you trust online – a person could always pretend to be someone they are not. 

 

Sometimes people who add strangers to their friend list are just looking to make new friends, whereas others may just want to add to their ‘popularity’ or have a big number of people ‘liking’ their online posts. However, accepting a stranger’s friend request means you are putting yourself at risk of getting stalked, and these strangers could have bad intentions. 

 

Here’s why you should limit your friend list: 

  • Your online friends could abuse the photos that you share. 
  • Your reputation could be tarnished by cyberbullies
  • You could be a target to thieves or sexual predators if you post your current location online. 
  • Your identity could be stolen and used to create another online profile of yourself with posts not done by you. 

 

Best practices 

  • Go through your friends list every once in a while. Scroll through and make sure your online friends are real people and delete those unwanted/ghost ‘friends’. 
  • Change your privacy settings so your online posts can only be viewed by your trusted friends and family members. 
  • Don’t be too personal or revealing with your online posts. What goes online may stay online forever, even if you delete it. 
  • Block, delete and ignore cyberbullies. Alternatively, you can report them to the social network site administrator.