Tips For Using Social Media Safely

There are many great resources to learn how to stay safe while using social media. These include Carleton University and TechSafety.org. The list below includes some of their best basic tips, as well as tips from our MSCFV team. 

  1. Change your passwords AFTER you leave your abuser. (Changing them before could increase the abusive behaviors.) Use a strong password that the abuser cannot guess. Note that longer passwords that include symbols, numbers and letters may provide more security.
  2. Use a different password for each of your social media accounts.
  3. Most Social Media sites have Security Answers or two-factor authentication options. Turn these on, making sure not to pick question/answer combinations that the abuser can figure out. 
  4. Make sure you have your device password protected. Change the password to something your abuser does not know.
  5. Turn off the location identification features in all apps and on all devices, including all of your children’s devices.
  6. When posting photos, check to see if there are images in the photo that can help abusers identify your location. If you want to post a photo with identifiable landmarks, post the photo after you leave the site.
  7. Ask family and friends to not post photos of you or your children unless you approve the photo first.
  8. Before blocking your abuser or their friends/family, consider if blocking them will increase their anger and put you at more risk.
  9. Be careful about what you share. Don’t reveal sensitive personal information i.e.: home address, financial information, phone number. The more you post the easier it is to have your identity stolen.
  10. Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request. It could be a fake account.
  11. Click links with caution. Social media accounts are regularly hacked. Look out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend would post.
  12. Learn how to document social media abuse/stalking. TechSafety.org has excellent resources to learn more about social media abuse and documentation. Check them out at https://www.techsafety.org/documentationtips.
  13. Become familiar with the privacy policies of the social media channels you use and customize your privacy settings to control who sees what. In addition to privacy policies, most social media apps have information on user safety.
  14. Protect your computer by installing antivirus software to safeguard. Also ensure that your browser, operating system, and software are kept up to date.
  15. Remember to log off when you’re done.

We are currently collecting items to help the children of the domestic abuse survivors we are working with have a strong start to this school year. To learn how you can help these children, click here.