Thursday, 13 April 2017

How To Stay Safe Online











A few weeks back I was out having a coffee and catch up with blogger Shannon Jennings when we started talking about being safe on the internet. And it really got me thinking. A lot of people don't realise how much they are sharing and who is really seeing it all.

With the rise of social media, a new form of expression has come. The increase of people on social media has created a world for bloggers, celebrities and influencers to create a platform where they can express themselves. All is well and good when you're posting about the latest meal you've had at the fanciest restaurant or where you're off to on holiday, but who really sees all of this? 

You don't know who is really watching and what their intentions are. As a blogger who lives in London, I feel really conscious about my online presence. As my social influence grows, the amount of things I share online diminishes all in the hope of keeping my audience entertained, while protecting myself offline. 

I have over 100 thousands followers on Instagram. To me, that is just a number, I could never comprehend the amount of people that follow me. In my eyes, I still feel like the only people seeing my posts are my closest friends and family, but the reality is, that there are over 100,000 people and more (as my page is not private, so many more people) that can find me and see what I'm up to.

So I have come up with five different rules to follow whether you are a blogger, influencer, or you just enjoy using social media to connect with friends and family.

Rule number One

Post where you are after you have left. 
Unless you have an arranged meet and greet, always try to post where you are after you have left. I see so many people tag into a restaurant/bar/hotel while they are still staying there. I always post an image hours if not days after on Instagram. And when it comes to Instastories, as it's not as private as Snapchat, anyone scrolling can come across your content and their intentions may not always be pure.

Rule Number Two

Don't be too flashy online
As we all saw last year what happened to Kim Kardashian. Don't flash your cash, designer items all over for the world to see. And if you've not followed rule number one, they will know where you are and could find you. 

Rule Number Three

Don't state where you live
On my social media it states that I am from London. But London is large. There are so many different areas so I feel safe enough to say that. However if you start giving postcodes, or a more specific area the chances of finding you is a lot more. 

Rule Number Four

Don't state where you work or study
If blogging, Instagram is something you do on the side, you may sill be going to school or work. Don't post about those things online. You can mention what you're studying, what your job is, but at the end of the day, you don't want anyone waiting outside for you.

Rule Number Five

Don't meet just anybody in real life
As a blogger I constantly get a lot of people ask to meet me. Whether it be for business, or smaller bloggers wanting to pick my brain. I don't meet all of them. When I do decided to meet a person from Instagram, I make sure that the person has a public profile with a lot of images of themselves and are also in the same industry as I am in. I wouldn't meet up with a random guy who has two pictures and they're quotes. Generally, I meet up with other fashion bloggers that I have seen around at events. And even then, it will be in a public place like a coffee shop and somewhere far from where I live. 

This may seem pretty obvious to a lot of you, but there are so many young people using social media, and from what I've spoken to a lot of them about is that they don't really understand the severity of keeping yourself protected online. The minute you post something online, it is available to everyone to see, and it crosses from being online to offline. You wouldn't walk up to a stranger and say "Hey, I'm going to *said venue* tonight and I will be alone/ with friends* so why would you put that online. 

You find yourself in a really nice bar so you decided to take a picture and post it online then and there. Someone can se your picture and come look for you. I know this is a bit of a serious blog post, but it's super important the KEEP SAFE. 

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