My Top 3 Social Media Tips

June 26th, 2017

My internship with Tactical Institute has left me feeling shocked, stunned and horrified more often than I first expected. As a college student, I spend at least an hour a day scrolling through news feeds, “liking” pictures, commenting or posting different things to my account and others. Thankfully, I have never had to experience one of my friends or classmates posting a serious threat. However, it happens more frequently than I anticipated. After spending countless hours monitoring the internet as a threat specialist, here are my top 3 social media tips that I have compiled from these experiences:

  1. Think before you post or share anything!! –  I know that parents and educators are preaching this to their children and students on a daily basis, and I will admit that it is an easy rule to overlook. That being said, it is the most important! Try and think about the people who could potentially see what you’ve posted. Not only is this a good rule of thumb to practice if you are applying for jobs or are friends with your current employer on Facebook, but this also applies to public safety authorities. Being mindful of what thoughts you are publishing, even if the intent was purely for humor, can save you from getting into serious trouble!
  2. Know your audience – While some social media sites are more private, like Facebook which allows only people that you confirm as friends to see your timeline, remember that Twitter is an open forum, meaning that potentially millions of people could read the information you share. This tip ties into #1, but I wanted to emphasize that you should also be monitoring what others are posting or tagging you in as well. You can never be too careful!
  3. Fake accounts are not ignored – “Finstas” or other phony accounts may give the user a sense of security, but in reality, it is still possible to track them. The process to uncover their true identity and location may be a bit more drawn out; however, the owner of the account is still held accountable for the posts.

I can not stress enough the importance of thinking before you post the first thought that pops into your head. While you can delete something (a post, picture, comment, etc.), you can never permanently erase something that has been published on the internet. My internship has given me a totally new perspective on my social media accounts, and I hope that these tips will help you too! Remember, the internet, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are a great, easy and convenient way to stay connected with friends, but never underestimate the value of facing your problems instead of Facebooking them.

 

Until next time!

-Andrea




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