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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lynn chapter.

Social media has become an essential part of college-aged students’ lives, allowing us to connect with family and friends, create brands, promote causes, and market ourselves. While social media is a part of human behavior now, social media can be a very harmful place if used incorrectly. By following these proactive steps, you can create a positive social media experience and protect your personal information. 

Utilize Safety and Privacy Features

Multiple social media sites have attributes including reporting, blocking, and filtering content. Reporting someone who is harassing you or others online, is a good first step at eliminating harmful content online. Blocking an account will hinder the blocked user from seeing your content. People you may need to block include toxic relationships, bullies, or strangers who are harassing you. Blocking these types of accounts will protect you from harm. Filtering content can prevent a user’s access from obtaining illegal or triggering content. 

Personalize your Privacy Settings

Personalizing your privacy to a comfortable setting is needed for a safe social media environment. Privacy settings can limit the people who view your profiles. It is recommended to make private accounts where people can access your profile only through a friend request. Additionally, creating strong passwords is vital for maintaining a safe space. Unique passwords obstruct hackers from retrieving your account. Use a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. 

Pause Before you Post 

Even though you may be able to delete content from your profile pages, remember that anything you share online is permanent. Do not share personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, or financial information online. Consider the consequences before posting photos, locations, or sensitive content. It is not worth it to post something that may compromise your safety or reputation. 

Be Mindful 

 Trust your intuition. If something feels off or looks suspicious, such as messages that make you uncomfortable, block the user immediately. Furthermore, beware of scams and fraud. Do not open suspicious links or attachments from unknown sources as this may be a form of stalking, hacking,etc. 

Using these tips will secure your safety on social media and keep it a safe and worthwhile space for you to be. Social media is always evolving, so remember to keep up with safety precautions and navigate your social media platforms with your safety in mind. 

Delaney is currently continuing her education as a sophomore pursuing Multimedia Journalism. While at Lynn, she is also a member of the women's lacrosse team. Her favorite color is pink and brown, favorite movie is Good Will Hunting and her favorite food is sweet potatoes. She is passionate about helping others, writing, and fashion. Her free time is mostly spent on the beach swimming in the salty waves.