Protect yourself on social media

You will undoubtedly be liking, following and poking people on social media sites already. However, the nature of social networking means that using it carries a degree of risk including becoming a target for cyber-criminals, but there are tips to keep you safe on-line.

  • Avoid publishing any identifying information about yourself -such as phone numbers, your address or birthday - that could be used by scammers.
  • Make it difficult for anyone wanting to hack your accounts by using a strong passwords with symbols and numbers.
  • Only let your friend view your posts by using appropriate privacy features on social media sites to restrict strangers’accessing your profile.
  • Remember that the stuff you post stays on-line, so don’t say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment.
  • Never post comments that are abusive or may cause offence to either individuals or groups of society.
  • Be on your guard against phishing scams, including fake friend requests and posts from individuals or companies inviting you to visit other pages or sites. If you do get caught up in a scam,make sure you remove any corresponding likes and app permissions from your account.
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online.
  • It has become common place for perspective employees to view possible recruit’s social networking pages, so be careful about what you say, what pictures you post and your profile as it could affect your job prospects.

Unpleasant comments about people on social media sites are not dealt with by the police unless there is a criminal offence involved.

Offences might include threats to kill, threats to cause damage, criminal conduct amounting to harassment and comments that incite racial hatred, violence or rioting. If this is the case call Humberside Police on 101 to report it.

For general unpleasant or inappropriate posts, in the first instance, you should contact the social media site on which the comments have been made and ask for their assistance. If you think you have been libelled to the extent you wish to take action then you should consult with a solicitor.