NEWSLETTER

THE IMPACT OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA ON TEENAGERS

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Overview

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, are amazing resources, allowing you to meet, interact and share with people around the world. However, all this power also brings risk for you, your family, friends and employer. In this newsletter, we explain what these dangers are and how to use these sites securely and safely.

Social Media

The best protection is to limit what you post. Yes, privacy options can provide some protection. However, they are often confusing and change frequently without your knowledge. What you thought was private can quickly become public for various reasons. In addition, the privacy of your posts is only as secure as the people you share them with. The more friends or contacts you share with, the more likely that information will become public. You should assume anything you post can or will become a public and permanent part of the Internet.

Finally, be aware of what friends are posting about you. If they post something you are not comfortable with, ask them to take it down. If they refuse or ignore you, contact the social media site and ask the site to remove the content for you. At the same time, be respectful of what you post about others.

Security

• Login: Protect each of your accounts with a strong, unique password and do not share them with anyone

else. In addition, many social media sites support stronger authentication, such as two-step verification.

Always enable these stronger authentication methods whenever possible. Finally, do not use your social media account to log in to other sites; if it gets hacked, then all of your accounts are vulnerable.

• Privacy Settings: If you do use privacy settings, make sure you review and test them regularly. Social

media sites often change privacy settings and it is easy to make a mistake. In addition, many apps and services let you tag your location to content that you post (called geotagging). Regularly check these settings if you wish to keep your physical location private.

• Encryption: Social media sites use encryption called HTTPS to secure your online connections to the site.



Some sites (like Twitter and Google+) enable this by default, while others require you to manually enable HTTPS.

Check your social media account settings and enable HTTPS as the default connection whenever possible.
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• Email: Be suspicious of emails that claim to come from social media sites. These can easily be spoofed

attacks sent by cyber criminals. The safest way to reply to such messages is to log in to your social media website directly, perhaps from a saved bookmark, and then read and reply to any messages or notifications from the website.

• Malicious Links/Scams: Be cautious of suspicious links or potential scams posted on social media sites.

Bad guys use social media to spread their own attacks. Just because a message is posted by a friend does not mean that message is really from them; their account may have been compromised. If a family member or friend has posted an odd message you cannot verify (i.e., they have been robbed and need you to send money), call them on their mobile phone or contact them by some other means to confirm the message is truly from them.

• Mobile Apps: Most social media sites provide mobile apps to access your online accounts. Make sure you

download these mobile apps from a trusted site and that your smartphone is protected with a strong password. If your smartphone is unlocked when you lose it, anyone can access your social media sites through your smartphone and start posting as you.

Hussam Abdalla & Fan Ge yu

INFRASTRUCTURE UNIVERSITY OF KUALA LUMPUR ( IUKL ) - MALAYSIA