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Safer Internet: Social Media Safety

Safer internet day and month of February 2021

Creating Usernames and Passwords

  • A good way to make a password is by using 3 random words placed together. For example: librarycollegestudy would be a much harder password for anyone to guess than, for example, your birth date or any personal words (especially things you may regularly talk about on social media).
  • Most websites will ask you to make a password of no less than 8 characters, containing a capital letter, a number, and occasionally a special character. In this case, something like the following would work: Themanchestercollege748*.
  • Usernames should not be re-used, and you should have different passwords for each form of social media that you're on. If these details are identical and someone gets hold of one of them, they could access any of your platforms easily. It is especially important to have a different password for online banking to any of your social media accounts.

2. Safer Internet Youth Forum advertisement - YouTube

Privacy Settings on Social Media

How to make the most of your privacy settings on:


  • Set your account to private so that you can verify new followers.
  • If you decide you want don’t want someone to be following you, select “remove follower”.
  • When posting on your feed and stories, be careful about what you choose to reveal – never include personal details such as your address, car registration, if your house is empty whilst on holiday etc. Items in the backgrounds of social media posts can give away information that would not be wise to share.
  • Instagram | Safety | Official Site



  • Limit who can see your posts to “friends”. You can alter this more specifically with custom lists of users who can view your posts, and there are "close friends", "acquaintances" and "restricted" options also.
  • Limit who can find you in the search bar. If you have Facebook purely for a more functional use such as having access to the Messenger account, you can make yourself hard to find, or even de-activate your account whilst still being able to use messaging facilities.
  • Facebook Privacy Basics
  • Control Who Can See What You Share | Facebook Help Centre


  • Snapchat holds the options to both remove friends/block people. Remember that although the images can be set to disappear after a few seconds, there is not much you can do if someone chooses to screenshot something you send to them or post on your story.
  • Avoid sharing your location on “Snap Maps”. These give your exact location to the very street you are on, which could easily give strangers your home address or study location.
  • 10 Essential Snapchat Privacy Tips (

Online Impersonation and Talking to Strangers Online

Online Impersonation

  • If you have a public account on social media, be aware that anyone can look at/access what you post. This means that people could re-post your pictures without giving you credit, or in more serious cases, people/bots could use pictures of you on their account. This could range from impersonating you to using your image to create a false online identity.

Be Careful Who You Trust Online:

Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying

  • Issues Online contains figures about cyber bullying, one of which states that 91% of people who have been bullied online in recent years said no action was taken to help them. This is understandably very upsetting for users and heightens the importance of having a good understanding of/control over your privacy settings on social media.
  • Be mindful of what you say to others on social media. It is easy for users to believe that their virtual comments won’t cause hurt or offence, when they could have a strong impact on someone’s life away from the screen.