Advice on staying safe on Twitter

Avoid bullying on social networks

Twitter is a very popular social network used by many different age groups, and especially used by many celebrities to keep in touch with fans and by citizens all over the world to break news stories or just say what they are up to at any given moment. While Twitter has been great at helping people communicate quickly and in a very open manner, it's not without its problems. Always follow the usual rules of cyber safety and in addition here are some Twitter specific safety tips.

staying safe on Twitter

Twitter safety tips

  • Never give out your real address, or any personal details - Remember on Twitter everything you say can be open to the world;
  • Never give out your password - Also be extra careful when you sign into Twitter through other websites. (Some are scams trying to find out your log-in details!);
  • Think before you Tweet! -  Anyone can see what you say unless you make your profile private;
  • Don't Follow Back people you don't know - This can help protect you against Direct Message spam. You can still talk publicly using @replies.

Go private

If you don't want the world to see everything you say on Twitter make your profile private, the option is in your settings on Twitter.com. That way only people you follow back will be able to see your updates, your tweets will also be hidden from the public search as well.

Pictures and other media

As with any internet service be careful what you post on Twitter, it's really easy to post pictures or video onto Twitter but you must take care not to post anything that could embarrass you later or get  you or anyone else into trouble.

Twitter and your location

One of Twitter's more advanced features is being location aware. That means if you turn the feature on people will be able to see where you posted a tweet from, using your exact location. We strongly recommend you keep this setting TURNED OFF. Some mobile phone Twitter clients make it easy to turn on or use the location feature, it's usually marked with a RED PIN or a MAP ICON. Stay clear of this feature if you want to remain private.

Prevent your Twitter account from being hacked or stolen

Sometimes people will try to take over Twitter accounts so they can send private messages or spam to a person's followers but there are lots of ways you can guard against it. Don't click links in Direct Messages unless you were expecting a link from that user. Most hacks happen when you put your Twitter log-in details into a compromised or fake website. Be careful of sites that look like Twitter.com but aren't. Only log-in to Twitter.com if you typed the link in directly or accessed through a link you know is safe (Bookmark).

If a link is not a Bit.ly link be extra careful. Bit.ly is the most popular link shortening service and does a good job at fighting these nasty links.

At the moment dangerous messages look something like this, but they change all the time so be on your guard. (We have replaced the address with URL to protect you.)

If you think your account has been hacked change your password immediately. If you can't log-in you can use the password reset tool on the Twitter support site to generate a new random password to your email address.

If you need some help or just want to tune into what we are up to, follow us on Twitter @BullyingUK

 

 

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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