Social media safety

Using social media can be fun, affirming, and a great way to keep in touch with others, but posts on social media are never truly private—no matter how strict your privacy settings.

Once something is online, it’s no longer under your control. Be protective of what you put on social media (including in your “info” section) and remember that personal details like phone numbers, addresses, handles, previous schools or employers, and photos with landmarks can make it easier for someone to reach you.

If someone is harassing you through social media, don’t respond and instead document all harassing messages, posts, or comments. Flag the posts as inappropriate.

Set boundaries and limits for social media with your partner and other people in your life.

Ask people not to post personal information or location check-ins about you on social media if you’re not comfortable with it, and check with others before posting any information about them, including photos.

If you’re posting about a one-time event that you really want to celebrate online, wait until after the event to do so; this way, others will be less able to use location information against you. If you’re not sure about whether it’s okay to post something, side with caution and don’t.

If you’re in the process of leaving an unhealthy relationship, start by blocking your ex on social media. Adjust your privacy settings to reduce the amount of information particular people can see and avoid posting private details to other people’s pages that may not have as strict of privacy settings.

If necessary, consider deactivating your accounts or doing a “super-logoff” by deactivating your accounts each time you log out and reactivating them when you log back in. While it may seem extreme, avoiding social media entirely can be the best option to stop abuse online.

Learn how to identify the warning signs of abuse.

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