Social Media Tips for Seniors

As more and more seniors sign up for social media accounts, word has spread about the fantastic benefits of creating your own profile. Social media allows you to keep in touch with friends and family members near and far. Seniors are more prone to bouts of loneliness, and going online to connect with others through social media helps stave off feeling all alone. However, social media accounts can compromise your privacy. Keep these tips in mind as you manage your online profiles.

Ask for Help

The process of setting up a social media account can seem overwhelming. Ask someone who already has an account for assistance. Social media settings can be confusing at times. Have a friend or family member walk you through the process of uploading photos, sharing posts, creating an “About You” section and scrolling through news feeds. Once you see the process done in front of you, you’ll get the hang of reading and sharing posts in no time.

Tighten Up Privacy

If you turned on the news lately, you’ve likely heard concerns about privacy on social networks. For starters, set up your account using a strong password that isn’t easy to guess. Never use common passwords such as “123456,” “111111,” “password,” your full name or your birth date. Phone numbers and social security numbers should be avoided. Instead, choose a password that is a blend of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

Once you’re on your social media account, immediately go to your “privacy” settings. Always choose tighter settings if you’re unsure of what selections to make. You can opt for just “friends” to see your posts or even designate specific groups of friends and family who will be able to view your posts. If you select “public” for any of your profiles, anyone can view your photos, videos and postings.

Be Selective

To get the most out of social media, you should only accept requests from people you know. Social media can be an enjoyable experience when you’re connecting with people you care about. Avoid becoming “friends” with strangers. As someone in your network, he or she may become privy to sensitive information that can be used against you. To stay on the safe side, don’t share too much information online. For instance, avoid posting about going on vacation since this could leave you more vulnerable to break-ins. Think twice before “checking-in” to a place since this also lets others know your location. Never say you’re home alone or bedridden since this could make you a target. Instead of sharing information in real-time, you should wait until later to post photos of vacations or social events.

Internet Etiquette and Tips

If you’re new to social media, take cues from others in your network. Here are a few general guidelines to consider when typing out any posts to share on a social media feed:

  • Don’t fall victim for offers that sound too good to be true
  • If a website link looks suspicious or you don’t know the person sharing it well, then avoid clicking. A link could be a virus that harms your computer or a phishing scam to steal your personal information.
  • Don’t tag people unnecessarily. If you want to share a post or photo with someone, you can “tag” the person. Tagging is usually done by selecting the “Tag” option or typing the person’s name after the @ symbol. However, don’t tag an individual online if a post or photo has nothing to do with them.
  • Utilize “Help” pages on social media platforms. These pages will help you find answers to questions about your settings, privacy and more.

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